Fired Google engineer Damore says the company is hiring and promoting workers based on race or gender

“James Damore, the former Google engineer fired over a memo criticizing the company’s diversity efforts, says his former employer is discriminating in its hiring practices based on race or gender,” John Shinal reports for CNBC. “Damore, whose online post has divided Google and ignited a national firestorm, told CNBC’s ‘Closing Bell’ that Google is ‘treating people differently based on race or gender.'”

“The company ‘is pressing individual managers to increase diversity’ and is ‘using race or gender’ to decide which workers are promoted and which teams job candidates are placed on, Damore said,” Shinal reports. “Damore was fired last week after 3 1/2 years as an engineer over a post he wrote arguing that among the reasons there are so few women in technology were gender-based preferences and characteristics. He wrote the memo after attending what he called ‘a private diversity summit’ at the company.”

“In his 10-page memo, written a month ago, Damore called Alphabet unit Google an ‘echo chamber,'” Shinal reports. “Yet by the end of last week, in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, he said the company was ‘almost like a cult.'”

Read more in the full article here.

“‘I do not support the alt-right,’ he told CNN Tech. ‘Just because someone supports me doesn’t mean I support them,'” Sara Ashley O’Brien and Laurie Segall report for CNNMoney. “Even as Damore clarified his personal political views, he argued adamantly that Silicon Valley is closed off to people it considers conservative. ‘There’s a very strong idea that the left ideology is the only ideology possible. We should be able to express differing opinions,’ Damore told CNN Tech. ‘I’m a centrist, and they’re calling me a Nazi. That is a real problem.'”

“Damore said he’s not alone. He said some of his colleagues are afraid to express their ideologies but, privately, conveyed their full support of his memo,” O’Brien and Segall report. “‘They literally say they agree with everything I’m saying. And that they don’t feel they can bring their whole selves to Google,’ Damore said. He said the memo has divided many at the tech company. ‘Hopefully it will show there has been a lot of political discrimination in the workplace and that needs to stop,’ he said, calling Google a ‘psychologically unsafe environment’ because people feel as though they have to self-censor. ‘You have to stay in the closet and mask who you really are,’ he said.”

“Damore’s post claimed that women aren’t suited for tech jobs for ‘biological’ reasons,” O’Brien and Segall report. “‘I’m saying that people that go into tech are interested in ‘things’ versus ‘people’ generally,’ Damore said. ‘As a population, there are fewer women that are interested in things versus people.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last August:

Diversity is certainly good, but getting the absolute best should remain the goal. Forced diversity carries its own set of problems. Would the group be comprised of the best-qualifed people possible or would it be designed to hit pre-defined quotas? Would some employees, consciously or unconsciously, consider certain employees, or even themselves, to be tokens meant to fill a quota? That would be a suboptimal result for all involved.

The best and desired outcome is for this to work in Apple’s favor. Truly looking at qualified people from a larger pool would result in delivering different viewpoints and new ways of looking at things and tackling problems than a more homogenized workforce would be capable of delivering.

Regardless and of course, someday it sure would be nice for everyone to just be able to evaluate a person’s potential, not measuring and tabulating superficial, meaningless things like skin color and gender.

Google’s “Diversity” page is here. Apple’s “Inclusion and Diversity” page is here.

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

SEE ALSO:
James Damore: Why I was fired by Google – August 12, 2017
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
Apple’s new Vice President of Inclusion and Diversity will report directly to CEO Tim Cook – May 24, 2017
Apple’s board has urged shareholders to reject proposal to tie executive compensation to racial diversity quotas – February 27, 2017
Apple Inc. fights shareholders group demand for more diversity – February 15, 2017
Apple touts diversity of recent hires – August 3, 2016
Apple inches toward workforce diversity – January 20, 2016
Diversity report shows Apple’s U.S. workforce still mainly white and male – January 19, 2016
Apple’s Board of Directors says a call for diversity is ‘unduly burdensome and not necessary’ – January 15, 2016
Apple leads Facebook, Intel, Cisco, Google on gender diversity among Bay Area companies – November 17, 2015
Apple’s latest diversity report shows progress – August 13, 2015
Tim Cook is ‘personally involved’ in improving diversity at Apple Inc. – July 14, 2015
Apple donates over $50 million to diversity efforts – March 10, 2015
Apple CEO Tim Cook met privately with Jesse Jackson regarding diversity – December 9, 2014
Apple adds Vice Presidents, more diversity to Executive Leadership Team – August 15, 2014
A message from Apple CEO Tim Cook on diversity – August 12, 2014
Jesse Jackson calls on Obama to scrutinize tech industry’s ‘lack of diversity’ – July 28, 2014
Tim Cook: Apple will release diversity data ‘at some point’ – July 9, 2014
Jesse Jackson targets tech’s lack of diversity; sends letter to Apple, Google, HP, others – March 19, 2014
Apple changes bylaws after facing criticism about lack of diversity on board – January 9, 2014

55 Comments

    1. Actually, Damore claims just the opposite of what you describe. The ultimate surgery for a Google (or Apple, Facebook, etc.) employee would result in a black wheelchair-bound lesbian who is, optimally, blind, deaf, and dumb.

      You know that Tim Cook, with his addled “progressive” ideas of “diversity,” would be turning cartwheels to hire such an entity, but that would not necessarily or likely be the best for Apple Inc. which would foot the bill to provide accessibility and aids in order for this lump of diversity to do 1/20th the job that the best candidate, rejected due to “diversity” quotas, would perform.

      1. ” The ultimate surgery for a Google (or Apple, Facebook, etc.) employee would result in a black wheelchair-bound lesbian who is, optimally, blind, deaf, and dumb.
        “You know that Tim Cook, with his addled “progressive” ideas of “diversity,” would be turning cartwheels to hire such an entity,”

        That represents about 0.0000000000000000000000000000000 of the population.

      2. Well, opposite is what Damore claims. Reality is that for every time a white heterosexual male gets bypassed, every member of a minority gets bypassed 100 times. As long as zero cannot be achieved, 50/50 is the closest approximation of absolute best we can get, and there is a many Damores to go.

  1. The most feared quote of SJW’s:

    “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

    Martin Luther King, Jr.

      1. look, moron, everything you’ve posted has been bs….but, keep battin’ .000 if you’d like. Sorry is I hurt your feewings.*

        * no, I’m not! bwhahahahahahaha

        1. Yeah, the SJWs would see MLK as an Uncle Tom.

          How dare he strive for equally opportunity when preferences and quotas are within reach.

          You have to work hard when the playing field is equal. Not so much when you’re one of the affirmative action crew.

            1. Botty (et al) — Yes, if it’s one thing us progressives “hate” are leaders who espouse non-violence in the fight for justice. You sound as deluded as Alex Jones, which is saying something, even for your deluded self.

  2. “Damore’s post claimed that women aren’t suited for tech jobs for ‘biological’ reasons,” O’Brien and Segall report.

    O’Brien and Segall would be wrong. He did not take that position, he said no such thing, and the sum of his assertions do not add up to that.

    This story is the most mis-reported story I’ve ever come across. Literally every single major media outlet has mischaracterized the contents of the memo.

    1. He never said women aren’t suited for tech, he said women don’t have the same preferences as men, which is backed up by substantial research. A woman should go into tech for the same reasons as a man, because she prefers it, not because google wants it.

      1. The women Google are hiring went into tech because they prefer it, and because they’re great at it (I know one of Google’s women engineers; she’s so smart it’s a bit frightening).

        It’s not like Google is walking around shopping malls picking out women at random and hiring them to work in tech.

        1. Yeh… I would tend to think this extremely successful company is picking people because they are GOOD at what they do.

          On his statement, claming that women aren’t suited for tech jobs for ‘biological’ reasons — remember it’s not that long since women supposedly weren’t suited to being “persons” under the law because they weren’t biologically suited for it.

          1. Before 1916, married American women of leisure had beaucoup time on their hands, even after bearing children (because nurses and servants were common back then). Their biological duty done, they turned to intellectual pursuits to pass the time: writing, science, art, mathematics. Whle their menfolk were out and about attempting various conquests, these women built an intellectual legacy. That legacy includes human rights, health care, poetry and literature, science, mathematics, and computer programming.

            These women had been discouraged from pursuing matters of the mind by doltish men who believed the twaddle fed to them by a ruling class content with women assigned to an inferior social position, an institutional belief system that survives to this day in the Islamic world — which arguably is the reason “The West” seized a commanding economic lead five hundred years ago. But Eve tasted the apple first, felt the first electric twinge of excited curiosity about deep things. She kept a secret or two from Adam.

            New book by someone who was there before most of you — https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Ullman

    2. i read Damore’s post in its entirety and carefully considered his assertions. To me, Damore’s post give the appearance, at least, of a flawed, but good faith effort to explain his concerns and his interpretation of the causes, effects, and preferred mitigating steps.

      There are sentences and subsections of Damore’s post with which I would not argue. But they are woven into a larger narrative which, taken in its entirety, appears weak and contains a number of logical flaws and personal interpretations. It also leverages several assertions which I believe show substantial personal bias. Clearly, Damore is highly invested in his own opinion and spent considerable effort to justify his position and make it sound reasonable and fair.

      I don’t want people to fear speaking out, particularly when they appear to be making a good faith effort to explore such a difficult societal issue. But freedom comes with responsibility and actions come with consequences. Damore could have taken other paths to express his opinions which would have been far less likely to result in his dismissal.

      1. I started to read into his memo many of the same feelings you identify, but I wonder how much of it was coming from *my* personal (admittedly left-leaning) biases?

        He made a fairly dispassionate and well-supported (for an office memo) argument that *some* of the reasons Google has not been able to get even close to 50/50 parity are based on biological factors. That despite a institutional commitment, and spending huge sums, to try to shift the balance, they are failing.

  3. The problem is not a new one. The other problem is, that those who oppose this type of corporate behavior can rant all they want, but it won’t change a thing. Companies today think they’re so big and powerful (and they may be) that they can adopt philosophical/political slants and everyone will go along with them. Part of it is marketing, but part of it is they act much like the Bourgeoisie while doing it. With all of their followers tagging along. And, who’s to stop them? They’re not breaking any laws. In fact, they’d say they’re trying to make a better situation for everyone and that this is the kind of evolution that Affirmative Action was set about to change.

    There’s an entrepreneurial spirit to the current zeitgeist, which in my opinion is good. However, there’s only so much social experimentation people can take or tolerate before we see push back and a questioning of things. This is likely the phenomenon we’re witnessing in many arenas in this country. When folks resist change, it’s not always to thwart it, it’s to catch their breathe. Just because we can ever increasingly change our lives with technology and other rapidly advancing ideals, does not mean that we can change society and our collective cultures at the same pace. History has shown us this, many times.

    1. …he had me reading/istening until I got to the Game of Thrones reference. This isn’t a movie or a video game scenario. Let’s all try to think a little harder about another person’s situation and perspective.

      The reality is, they fired him for his beliefs not his work. Imagine if we could pry open everyone’s head and see their hidden beliefs..? His mistake, making them public.

      How about companies return to building products that people want to use and leave the politics on the sidelines? It’s worked wonders for many years with so many other more mature companies/industries.

      1. I just thought it was an interesting response. The formatting didn’t come through well, it’s featured on Apple news’ the economist page if you want to check out the version with all the graphs. Ad yes I realize that most people’s attention spans won’t sit through this.

      2. Correction, Mtnmnn – Google fired him for his *actions* in which he expressed his beliefs in a way that was damaging to the company’s goals and objectives. How you do something and where you do it can be just as important as what you believe.

    2. That’s a nice writeup (whatever is says)….you realize that many (most?) of the readers of this site are males (like me) with attention spans appropriate for COD.

      1. I’d have put it more succinctly: Damore and his supporters emphasize supposed gender differences that they think favor men and ignore differences that favor women. If women are really better with people than with things, they are more suited—not less—to be promoted into team leader and management positions. They are certainly more likely than men to recognize issues that disproportionately affect female customers. Even if the averages favor men, that does not discount the existence of qualified women, though you might have to look harder. The idea that white males are the most frequent victims of discrimination has absolutely no support in serious research.

  4. It is real simple people:

    If Google hires unqualified workers based upon whatever demographic they suffer and that gives competitors an advantage.

    I am for merit based hiring but I am not the HR Department at Google. Shareholder (via Mutual Funds).

  5. I work at a multi-billion dollar US IT company and for the last few years women have clearly been favored for promotions, even when their qualifications do not support the move. I understand that women can argue that they had to endure a similar situation as men are facing now for decades but, as they know, discrimination is bad for morale. In addition, not hiring the best possible employees doesn’t help shareholders. In order to be successful and enjoy a good work climate, companies will have to implement promotion policies that are truly gender and race blind.

  6. I’d like to state that there’s never been a case, that I’ve witnessed, where a woman has made less money than myself in an equal condition and in most cases they’ve been promoted more readily than men and receive overall higher wages over their career span. But then of course, I’m in Education…

      1. It’s a rather common in a great many buisnesses/industries for workers to know each other’s salaries/wages. Many unions advocate workers knowing this. Particularly in fields such as education.

        Former union member and know many people in education, including spouse.

      2. Uh, yeah, they’re posted annually now on the internet as a means of public disclosure. EVEERYONE’S salary!!! It’s “great fun” to watch someone less qualified, less educated with less experience “zoom” by you, because she (and legions of others from the opposite sex) seem to be a better working match, more capable of “understanding the work place dynamic”, or iare deemed in some obtuse way to be “a ‘better’ fit/team player” from the female boss’s perspective.

        Yes, this actually does/has happened (still!), but at the end of the day, I chose Education (and all that’s wrong with everything) to serve the students, not me. So, I own my own angst.

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