A Google engineer who wrote a memo detailing the alleged left-wing bias of the company and their intolerance of certain viewpoints has been fired for expressing certain viewpoints.
The scandal of the "anti-diversity" letter blew up over the weekend after it was published in full, but with the author's identity kept secret. He simply pointed out that it was unreasonable to assume that all differences in outcomes between genders had to be from sexism or discrimination rather than differences in the genders themselves.
"I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don’t endorse using stereotypes," he wrote. "When addressing the gap in representation in the population, we need to look at population level differences in distributions. If we can’t have an honest discussion about this, then we can never truly solve the problem."
In another section, he addresses gender differences. "We always ask why we don’t see women in top leadership positions, but we never ask why we see so many men in these jobs. These positions often require long, stressful hours that may not be worth it if you want a balanced and fulfilling life."
"Note, the same forces that lead men into high pay/high stress jobs in tech and leadership cause men to take undesirable and dangerous jobs like coal mining, garbage collection, and firefighting, and suffer 93% of work-related deaths," he concluded.
The 10-page letter was met with immediate scorn and derision — just the kind of reaction he was writing about in the letter.
By Monday, the author's identity was revealed and he was fired from Google.
Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, released a letter that he had sent to his employees explaining the decision to fire the engineer.
Read the note to employees from our CEO Sundar Pichai about the memo that was circulated over the past week →… https://t.co/cUPQNAe41x— Google (@Google) 1502167209.0
"First, let me say that we strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves," he wrote, "and much of what was in that memo is fair to debate, regardless of whether a vast majority of Googlers disagree with it. However, portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace."
Pichai addressed the concern that the firing would have a chilling effect on criticism.
"[M]any points raised in the memo—such as the portions criticizing Google’s trainings, questioning the role of ideology in the workplace, and debating whether programs for women and underserved groups are sufficiently open to all — are important topics," he wrote. "The author had a right to express their views on those topics — we encourage an environment in which people can do this and it remains our policy to not take action against anyone for prompting these discussions."