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