Thursday, August 10, 2017

Google firing sparks debate over sexism in Silicon Valley - THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Originally published: August 8, 2017

A Google engineer was fired after publishing a lengthy manifesto critical of the company’s diversity efforts that is renewing the long-simmering debate about sexism in Silicon Valley.

The controversy over James Damore’s memo sparked anguish among Google employees and touched off a fierce debate far beyond Silicon Valley – even prompting a job offer for Mr. Damore from Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Mr. Damore, a 28-year-old engineer who had been at the company since 2013, published a 10-page memo, titled Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber, that pointed to biological differences between men and women as the driving force behind the tech industry’s gender gap and urged Google to “stop alienating conservatives.”

It quickly went viral over the weekend and by late Monday, Google chief executive officer Sundar Pichai announced he cancelled a family vacation to return to the company’s Mountain View, Calif., headquarters to deal with the burgeoning crisis.