Google Discrimination Row Continues

Wednesday 16th August 2017 | Ben

Inside Google, there's a document circulating called "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber." 

Written by a senior software engineer, the 10-page Google document argues that rather than discrimination biological differences between men and women account for the representation gap in tech and that Google should not offer programs for under-represented minorities.

The document also reportedly says that employees with conservative political beliefs face discrimination at Google and that ideological diversity is more important than racial and gender diversity. 

Google has since fired the 28-year-old author of the document James Damore for "perpetuating gender stereotypes”.

The document is altogether pretty ridiculous; here are some of the strange claims Damore makes:

  • “We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism.”
  • “Women on average show a higher interest in people and men in things.”
  • “Not all differences are socially constructed or due to discrimination.”

According to the report in Motherboard, the personal opinion of this one Google engineer is, for the most part, angering Google employees, yet some at the company agree with him.

"The broader context of this is that this person is perhaps bolder than most of the people at Google who share his viewpoint—of thinking women are less qualified than men—to the point he was willing to publicly argue for it. But there are sadly more people like him," a Google employee told Motherboard. 

The views reportedly expressed in this document aren't necessarily surprising, especially in Silicon Valley, where women and people of colour remain drastically underrepresented. According to Google's most recent diversity report, the company's own workforce is 56 percent white and 69 percent male. 

Google then cancelled an ‘anti-discrimination’ meeting scheduled for the end of last week amid safety fears after Damore’s supporters targeted Google employees with sexist abuse on social media.

This comes after news earlier this year that there is an ‘extreme’ gender pay gap at Google according to an ongoing investigation by the US Labor Department

It is an issue that goes far beyond the tech world. The US, although advanced in many ways it still has a serious problem when it comes to gender discrimination with women making less than men in equal positions. A problem that needs to be fixed sooner rather than later.