Google Fires Author of Divisive Memo on Gender Differences

Alphabet Inc .‘s Google has burnt an employee who wrote an internal memoranda blasting the web company’s diversity policies, creating a firestorm across Silicon Valley.

James Damore, the Google engineer who wrote the note, showed his removal in an email, saying that he had been fired for” perpetuating gender stereotypes .” He said he’s” currently investigating every possible legal remedies .”

The imbroglio at Google is the latest in a long string of incidents concerning gender bias and diversity in the tech enclave. Uber Technologies Inc. Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick lost his task in June amid scandals over sexual harassment, discrimination and an aggressive culture. Ellen Pao’s gender-discrimination lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins Caufield& Byers in 2015 also delivered the questions to light, and more girls are speaking up to say they’ve been sidelined in the male-dominated industry, especially in engineering roles.

Earlier on Monday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai mailed a tone to employees that articulated some parts of the memoranda” violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace .” But he didn’t say if the company was taking action against the employee. A Google representative, asked about the expulsion, referred to Pichai’s memo.

Damore’s 10 -page memorandum accused Google of silencing conservative political sentiments and argued that biological gaps play a role in the shortage of women in tech and leadership outlooks. It circulated widely inside the company and became public over the weekend, making a furor that amplified the pressure on Google executives to take a more definitive stand.

Read more: Bloomberg QuickTake on women and tech

After the controversy swelled, Danielle Brown, Google’s new vice president for diversity, soundnes and governance, sent a statement to staff denouncing Damore’s views and reaffirmed the company’s stance on diversity. In internal discussion boards, multiple employees indicates that they corroborated firing the author, and some said they would not choose to work with him, is in accordance with posts viewed by Bloomberg News.

” We are unequivocal in our idea that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company ,” Brown said in the statement.” We’ll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul .”

The memo and surrounding debate comes as Google fends off a litigation from the U.S. Department of Labor alleging the company systemically discriminate against wives. Google has denied service charges, arguing that it doesn’t have a gender crack in fee, but has declined to share full salary information with the governmental forces. According to the company’s most recent demographic report, 69 percent of its workforce and 80 percent of international technical the employees are male.

Following the memo’s book, multiple executives shared an clause from a senior engineer who recently left the company, Yonatan Zunger. In the blog post, Zunger said that based on the context of the memo, he determined that he would” not in good conscience” assign any employees to work with its author.” You have just developed a textbook hostile workplace environ ,” he wrote. He also said in a email,” Could you envisage having to work with someone who had just publicly questioned your basic competency to do your work ?”

Still, some right-wing websites had already lionized the memo’s author, and burning him could be seen as supporting some of the amount claimed in the memoranda itself- that the company’s culture attains no chamber for dissenting political sentiments. That outcome could galvanize any backlash against Alphabet’s efforts to make its workforce more diverse.

In her initial response to the memo, Brown, who joined from Intel Corp. in June, were of the view that Google was open to all hosting” difficult political views ,” including those in the memo. However, she left open the possibility that Google could penalise the engineer for violating company plans.” But that discourse needs to work alongside the principles of equal employment found in our Code of Conduct, policies, and anti-discrimination statutes ,” she wrote.

The subject of Google’s ideological bent came up at recent developments shareholder session, in June. A shareholder asked executives whether republicans would feel welcome at the company. Executives disagreed with the idea that anyone wouldn’t.

” The company was founded in accordance with the principles of freedom of expression, diversity, inclusiveness and science-based thinking ,” Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt said at the time.” You’ll likewise find that all of the other corporations in our industry agree with us .”