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Google Gender Discrimination Scandal Shocks the World

Google Gender Discrimination Scandal Shocks the World

As a crisis unfurled at Google over an employee memo that argued biological factors helped explain the shortage of female engineers and leaders in Silicon Valley, some of the most pointed critiques of the company's handing of the issue were posted to its own message boards. Her job: build "a more diverse and inclusive workplace". And there's no sign of it letting up anytime soon.

Despite Google's fervent denials of pay gap allegations, Finberg says that around 30 of the 60 women he interviewed indicated that there were distinct inequalities and prejudices that are detrimental to women working at the tech giant.

James Damore, the software engineer fired by Google for circulating a 10-page manifesto inside the company that suggested women might be under-represented in tech generally and "leadership" inside the company due to their biology, has described the company as "almost like a cult" in an opinion column published the Wall Street Journal.

Google fired Damore on Monday.

There were a number of defining moments throughout this tense week at Google.

Google said Damore violated its code of conduct and his actions advanced harmful gender stereotypes. Next to Pichai is the Google logo but instead the text reads "Not So Much".

Google took this is as a direct insult and fired the author. Plenty of websites published internal posts and gave personal information on Google employees.




Dory is a system used internally for Google employees to submit and vote on questions to be asked at town hall meetings.

Damore, who has emerged as a hero of conservative media, stands by his memo, saying he considered it a "reasoned, well-researched, good-faith argument". Fired4Truth, widely believed to be Damore's Twitter account, is closing in on 50,000 followers in a matter of days. Damore said he shared the missive, titled "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber", about a month ago with specific individuals and groups focused on diversity before posting it to a mailing list called "skeptics" on August 2.

The US National Labor Relations Act guarantees workers, whether they are in a union or not, the right to engage in "concerted activities" for their "mutual aid or protection".

Google is now defending itself from a lawsuit from the US Department of Labour which is alleging that the company systematically discriminates against women. For many, including myself, working at Google is a major part of their identity, nearly like a cult with its own leaders and saints, all believed to righteously uphold the sacred motto of "Don't be evil".

Inside Google, the memo and its fallout represent perhaps the biggest setback to what has been a foundational premise for employees: the freedom to speak up about anything and everything.

"I am a moderately conservative Googler", one employee wrote, "and I am and have been scared to share my beliefs". The loud voice here is the liberal one. "What is leadership doing to ensure Googlers like me feel invited and accepted, not just tolerated or safe from angry mobs?"