by Julia Carrie Wong
Originally published: August 8, 2017
Google reportedly fired a software engineer on Monday after a document he wrote criticising the company’s diversity efforts and attributing the tech industry’s gender imbalance to biological differences between men and women went viral.
“To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to [Google’s] work is offensive and not OK,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in a memo to employees. “It is contrary to our basic values and our code of conduct.”
The firing of the memo’s author, who identified himself as James Damore in an email to the Guardian, was first reported by Bloomberg. Google declined to comment on an individual employee’s case, but tweeted a link to further comments by Pichai: “Our co-workers shouldn’t have to worry that each time they open their mouths to speak in a meeting, they have to prove they are not like the memo states, being ‘agreeable’ rather than ‘assertive’, showing ‘lower stress tolerance’ or being ‘neurotic’.”