comscore Google's sacking of 'anti-diversity' employee is right under the circumstances
News

Google's sacking of 'anti-diversity' employee is right under the circumstances

Silicon Valley is struggling to break out of its boys' club image. Google itself is fighting allegations of gender pay gap. What could it have done?

sundar-pichai-google-ceo

Days after an explosive “anti-diversity” memo penned by a Google employee went viral, the search giant has reportedly fired him. The employee a senior software engineer named James Damore had his identity leaked on Twitter last night. Google CEO Sundar Pichai has in a strongly-worded email to employees stated that Damore (whom he didn’t specifically name) violated the company’s much-valued Code of Conduct. While there was certainly a place for conservative opinions within the company, anyone who perpetuated “gender stereotypes” didn’t stand a chance. Also Read - Google Workspace now available for everyone, including free Google account owners

Also Read - UEFA Euro 2020: Colourful Google Doodle kicks off European Football Championship

“Portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace. Our job is to build great products for users that make a difference in their lives. To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK,” Pichai said in his email titled ‘Our Words Matter’. Also Read - Android 12 beta 2 rolling out: New privacy features, tweaked design and more

This is a strong, definitive response from Google that comes a day after the slightly tempered reaction from its newly appointed VP of Diversity, Danielle Brown. She had stated that Damore’s views are not that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages…. However part of building an open, inclusive environment means fostering a culture in which those with alternative views, including different political views, feel safe sharing their opinions.” It failed to clear whether Google was taking any action against Damore or not. ALSO READ: Google s gender ratios show that it is hardly delivering on promises of inclusion

Pichai reportedly cut short his vacation to rush to the company HQ in the wake of this crisis, and his email to employees makes it clear that Google envisages a workplace culture “that is free of harassment, intimidation, bias and unlawful discrimination.” Google, one of the trendsetters in Silicon Valley, prides itself for fostering a gender-neutral environment. Though its workforce demographics may not support its intent yet, given only 31 percent of Google’s employees are women, there have been nearly no stories of workplace sexism or harassment within the company. Well, nothing that we know of yet. Unlike in the case of Uber.

Google is known to have very low tolerance for those who make racist or sexist remarks, and especially those that violate its Code of Conduct. That is Google’s Bible and anyone who fails to adhere to it is fired. While the anti-diversity memo did have a few takers in conservative tech circles, most Google employees dissented on internal discussion boards and demanded that the writer be sacked. An employee told Recode that the environment had become really toxic. “It s a microcosm of America,” he said, referring to the rise of conservatism in the era of President Trump.

Another employee told CNN, “Can someone who writes things like that interview women or black people fairly? Can they give and receive feedback to and from women/people of color appropriately and reasonably? To suggest that these kind of attitudes don’t bleed into someone’s day to day work seems dangerously optimistic.” ALSO READ: Google executive s anti-diversity manifesto leaked, creates a storm in the company

For Google, this crisis comes at a time when it’s already battling charges made by the US Department of Labor (DoL) which claims to have found “compelling evidence” about the huge gender pay gap in the company. DoL has stated that there are “systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce” at Google. This is in addition to the fact that only a fourth of leadership positions at Google go to women; and only a fifth of ‘tech’ jobs are held by female employees. In such a scenario, to not get rid of an openly misogynistic employee would have been conflicting for Google.

While Silicon Valley might be divided over Damore’s sacking, if Google had failed to take stringent action against him, it would have meant that the company was complicit in his views… and those clearly go against the ethic Google promotes. Sample this: Google hosts Diversity Core, a program to raise awareness about “unconscious bias” in the organization. In the past, Google has approached Hollywood to make shows and films that boost the “girls-who-code” image such that young girls are inspired to take up computer science (CS). Since 2010, Google has invested more than $40 million in organizations working towards bringing CS education to more women across the world. ALSO READ: Uber CEO orders urgent probe after ex-employee alleges sexual harassment, gender bias at company

After all this, it would have been hypocritical of Google to bear with an employee who’s blatantly gender-biased. While the firing might reflect poorly on Google’s principles of free expression, not many can blame the company for the decision. Silicon Valley itself is struggling to break out of its “boys club” image. Major companies are fighting lawsuits and allegations against managements partaking in sustained sexism. The tech world, which boasts of a big immigrant population, is threatened by increasingly protectionist policies under Trump. Google might have just set a precedent by firing Damore. Free expression isn’t free; it has clauses. Note!

For the latest tech news across the world, latest PC and Mobile games, tips & tricks, top-notch gadget reviews of most exciting releases follow BGR India’s Facebook, Twitter, subscribe our YouTube Channel. Also follow us on  Facebook Messenger for latest updates.
  • Published Date: August 8, 2017 11:24 AM IST
  • Updated Date: August 9, 2017 5:44 PM IST



new arrivals in india

Vivo Y73
Vivo Y73

20,990

OnePlus Nord CE 5G
OnePlus Nord CE 5G

22,999

iQOO Z3
iQOO Z3

19,990

Realme C25s
Realme C25s

9,999

Poco M3 Pro 5G
Poco M3 Pro 5G

13,999

Realme X7 Max 5G
Realme X7 Max 5G

26,999

Oppo F19
Oppo F19

18,990

Motorola Moto G40 Fusion
Motorola Moto G40 Fusion

13,999

POCO M2 Reloaded
POCO M2 Reloaded

9,499

OPPO A74 5G
OPPO A74 5G

17,990

Oppo A53s 5G
Oppo A53s 5G

14,990

Vivo V21 5G
Vivo V21 5G

29,990

Realme C25
Realme C25

9,499

Realme C21
Realme C21

7,999

Realme C20
Realme C20

6,799

Motorola Moto G60
Motorola Moto G60

17,999

iQOO 7
iQOO 7

31,990

Samsung Galaxy M42 5G
Samsung Galaxy M42 5G

21,999

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

69,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G
Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G

39,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X
Xiaomi Mi 11X

29,999

Realme 8 5G
Realme 8 5G

13,999

Samsung Galaxy F02s
Samsung Galaxy F02s

8,999

Samsung Galaxy F12
Samsung Galaxy F12

10,999

POCO X3 Pro
POCO X3 Pro

18,999

Realme 8 Pro
Realme 8 Pro

17,999

Realme 8
Realme 8

14,999

Vivo X60 Pro Plus
Vivo X60 Pro Plus

69,990

Vivo X60 Pro
Vivo X60 Pro

49,990

Vivo X60
Vivo X60

37,990

OnePlus 9 Pro 5G
OnePlus 9 Pro 5G

64,999

OnePlus 9R 5G
OnePlus 9R 5G

39,999

OnePlus 9 5G
OnePlus 9 5G

49,999

Samsung Galaxy A72
Samsung Galaxy A72

34,999

Samsung Galaxy A52
Samsung Galaxy A52

26,499

Micromax In 1
Micromax In 1

10,499

Asus ROG Phone 5
Asus ROG Phone 5

49,999

Samsung Galaxy M12
Samsung Galaxy M12

10,999

Motorola Moto G30
Motorola Moto G30

10,999

Motorola Moto G10 Power
Motorola Moto G10 Power

9,999

Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G
Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G

25,990

Oppo F19 Pro
Oppo F19 Pro

21,490

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max

18,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro

15,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10

11,999

Realme Narzo 30A
Realme Narzo 30A

8,999

Realme Narzo 30 Pro
Realme Narzo 30 Pro

16,999

Infinix Smart 5
Infinix Smart 5

7,199

Samsung Galaxy F62
Samsung Galaxy F62

23,999

Samsung Galaxy A12
Samsung Galaxy A12

12,999

Nokia 5.4
Nokia 5.4

13,999

Nokia 3.4
Nokia 3.4

11,999

Realme X7 Pro 5G
Realme X7 Pro 5G

29,999

Realme X7
Realme X7

19,999

Vivo Y31
Vivo Y31

16,490

Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G

35,990

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

1,05,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G

81,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G

69,999

Vivo Y12s
Vivo Y12s

9,990

Vivo Y51A
Vivo Y51A

17,990

Samsung Galaxy M02s
Samsung Galaxy M02s

8,999

Xiaomi Mi 10i
Xiaomi Mi 10i

21,999

Oppo A15s
Oppo A15s

11,490

Tecno Spark 6 Go
Tecno Spark 6 Go

8,499

Vivo V20 2021
Vivo V20 2021

24,990

Vivo Y20A
Vivo Y20A

11,490

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power
Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G9 Power
Motorola Moto G9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G 5G
Motorola Moto G 5G

20,999

Vivo V20 Pro
Vivo V20 Pro

29,990

Xiaomi Mi 10T
Xiaomi Mi 10T

35,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9i
Xiaomi Redmi 9i

8,299

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro

39,999

Infinix Hot 10
Infinix Hot 10

9,999

Vivo V20 SE
Vivo V20 SE

20,990

Vivo V20
Vivo V20

24,990

Micromax In 1b
Micromax In 1b

6,999

Micromax In Note 1
Micromax In Note 1

10,999

OnePlus 8T
OnePlus 8T

42,999

Samsung Galaxy F41
Samsung Galaxy F41

15,499

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

1,29,900

Apple iPhone 12 Pro
Apple iPhone 12 Pro

1,19,900

Apple iPhone 12 Mini
Apple iPhone 12 Mini

69,900

Apple iPhone 12
Apple iPhone 12

79,900

Poco X3
Poco X3

16,999

Realme Narzo 20A
Realme Narzo 20A

8,499

Realme Narzo 20
Realme Narzo 20

10,499

Realme Narzo 20 Pro
Realme Narzo 20 Pro

13,999

Oppo F17
Oppo F17

16,990

Samsung Galaxy M51
Samsung Galaxy M51

22,999

Poco M2
Poco M2

10,999

Oppo F17 Pro
Oppo F17 Pro

22,990

Realme 7 Pro
Realme 7 Pro

19,999

Realme 7
Realme 7

14,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9A
Xiaomi Redmi 9A

6,799

Vivo Y20
Vivo Y20

12,990

Xiaomi Redmi 9
Xiaomi Redmi 9

8,999

Nokia 5.3
Nokia 5.3

13,999

Best Sellers