Google employees are up in arms after a senior engineer at the company penned an anti-diversity manifesto that has spread through the company like wildfire.
The manifesto criticizes company initiatives aimed at increasing gender and racial diversity and argues that Google should instead focus on "ideological diversity," according to a report by Vice's Motherboard, which first reported the news late on Friday. The 10-page treatise also claims that biological difference between men and women are responsible for the underrepresentation of women in the tech industry.
"We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism," reads the document, a copy of which was obtained by Gizmodo.
News of the document has sparked widespread outrage on the internet, including by several Google employees who took to Twitter to denounce it.
If HR does nothing in this case, I will consider leaving this company for real for the first time in five years.
— Jaana B. Dogan 👀 (@rakyll) August 4, 2017
The doc was a disaster from a truly bad place. Pure toxicity. Be assured we are all with you (and feeling the same).
— Louis Gray (@louisgray) August 4, 2017
The article is publicly supported by many people internally.
Begs the question, how many privately support/agreee/subscribe.
— Sarah Adams (@sadams007) August 5, 2017
He's not been fired as of this writing. The screed is *still* accessible by all employees.
— Liz Fong-Jones (@lizthegrey) August 5, 2017
That garbage fire of a document is trash and you are wonderful coworkers who I am extremely lucky to work with.
— Andrew Bonventre (@andybons) August 4, 2017
The controversy comes at a time when Silicon Valley's treatment of women has been in the spotlight, following a string of allegations of harassment and discrimination at large companies such as Uber and at several high-profile venture capital firms. Google is also embroiled in a legal dispute with the Department of Labor, which has accused Google of "systemic compensation disparities" between men and women.
At the same time, the incident comes against a backdrop of heightened discord throughout the country as once-marginalized views of the so-called alt-right, which decry "political correctness," have been amplified and championed by many supporters of President Trump.
Indeed, the Google engineer wrote that the company must "stop alienating conservatives."
"In highly progressive environments, conservatives are a minority that feel like they need to stay in the closet to avoid open hostility. We should empower those with different ideologies to be able to express themselves," the author goes on to say.
The Motherboard report did not identify the author of the controversial document but said that it was written by a senior software engineer and shared on an internal Google mailing list.
A Google spokesperson referred Business Insider to internal memos posted by Google's head of diversity, Danielle Brown, as well as to an internal post by Ari Balogh, a Google VP of engineering.
"Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate. We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, and we'll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul," Brown wrote in an email to Google employees in response to the controversy.
Balogh wrote that "questioning our assumptions and sharing different perspectives" is an important part of Google's culture, but said that stereotypes and harmful assumptions have no place in such debates.
"One of the aspects of the post that troubled me deeply was the bias inherent in suggesting that most women, or men, feel or act a certain way. That is stereotyping, and it is harmful," Balogh wrote.
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