“I was fired by Google this past Monday for a document that I wrote and circulated internally raising questions about cultural taboos and how they cloud our thinking about gender diversity at the company and in the wider tech sector,” James Damore writes in The Wall Street Journal. “I suggested that at least some of the male-female disparity in tech could be attributed to biological differences (and, yes, I said that bias against women was a factor too). Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai declared that portions of my statement violated the company’s code of conduct and ‘cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.'”

“My 10-page document set out what I considered a reasoned, well-researched, good-faith argument, but as I wrote, the viewpoint I was putting forward is generally suppressed at Google because of the company’s ‘ideological echo chamber,'” Damore writes. “My firing neatly confirms that point. How did Google, the company that hires the smartest people in the world, become so ideologically driven and intolerant of scientific debate and reasoned argument?”

“We all have moral preferences and beliefs about how the world is and should be. Having these views challenged can be painful, so we tend to avoid people with differing values and to associate with those who share our values. This self-segregation has become much more potent in recent decades. We are more mobile and can sort ourselves into different communities; we wait longer to find and choose just the right mate; and we spend much of our time in a digital world personalized to fit our views,” Damore writes. “Echo chambers maintain themselves by creating a shared spirit and keeping discussion confined within certain limits… But echo chambers also have to guard against dissent and opposition. Whether it’s in our homes, online or in our workplaces, a consensus is maintained by shaming people into conformity or excommunicating them if they persist in violating taboos. Public shaming serves not only to display the virtue of those doing the shaming but also warns others that the same punishment awaits them if they don’t conform.”

“It saddens me to leave Google and to see the company silence open and honest discussion,” Damore writes. “If Google continues to ignore the very real issues raised by its diversity policies and corporate culture, it will be walking blind into the future — unable to meet the needs of its remarkable employees and sure to disappoint its billions of users.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Former Google engineer James Damore’s original memo, “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” can be read in full here.

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Street artist mocks Google in ads posted outside company offices following Damore firing – August 12, 2017
Here’s why the tech industry doesn’t need more female software engineers – August 9, 2017