Outrage as Google engineer posts controversial essay

The unnamed employee has received scathing criticism after suggesting women may be genetically unsuited to tech jobs

Outrage as Google engineer posts controversial essay
An anonymous Google employee has caused outrage around the world after posting a controversial essay which suggests women may be genetically unsuited to tech jobs.

The 10-page missive – titled “Google's Ideological Echo Chamber" – was written by a male software engineer who argues underrepresentation is not due to bias but rather inherent psychological differences between men and women.

“The distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don't see equal representation of women in tech and leadership,” he writes.

“Women, on average, have more openness directed towards feelings and aesthetics rather than ideas,” he continues. “Women generally also have a stronger interest in people rather than things, relative to men.”

The author argues that these two differences explain, in part, why women tend to prefer jobs in social or artistic areas compared to technology.

He also suggests women are opting out of leadership positions because they have different aspirations than their male counterparts.

“We always ask why we don't see women in top leadership positions, but we never ask why we see so many men in these jobs,” writes the author. “These positions often require long, stressful hours that may not be worth it if you want a balanced and fulfilling life.”

The unnamed employee also takes aim at Google’s diversity initiatives which he claims are actually discriminatory by their own nature.

“Google has created several discriminatory practices,” he argues, pointing to support programs for employees of a particular gender or race, special treatment for certain candidates and hiring practices which can lower the bar for some candidates.

“These practices are based on false assumptions generated by our biases and can actually increase race and gender tensions,” he writes. “We're told by senior leadership that what we're doing is both the morally and economically correct thing to do, but without evidence this is just veiled left ideology.”

He also argues that the company's diversity efforts have "created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence" and makes it easier for "extremist and authoritarian policies" to take root.

While the author insists he has received support from others in the company, Google’s official response has been anything but welcoming.

Danielle Brown, Google’s new VP of diversity, integrity and governance, issued a statement in response to the internal employee memo.

“Many of you have read an internal document shared by someone in our engineering organization, expressing views on the natural abilities and characteristics of different genders, as well as whether one can speak freely of these things at Google,” she wrote.

“And like many of you, I found that it advanced incorrect assumptions about gender. I’m not going to link to it here as it’s not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages.”

Brown went on to reaffirm Google’s dedication to diversity and said the company would continue its efforts.

“Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate,” she stressed. “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.”

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