The Google engineer who penned a memo with misogynist ideas that cost him his job has spoken out about the situation.
To read Damore’s full memo click here.
Former Google engineer James Damore, who was fired on Monday, discussed what happened with Stefan Molyneux, host of a conservative YouTube channel.
Top leaders at the company demonstrated their own worst practices by hiding behind a statement from their brand new head of diversity, who has only been on the job for a couple of weeks.
Damore said during the interview that the “left” and the “right” were not talking to each other, and that he wanted the two sides to engage in discussions with each other.
Notably, the YouTube channel Damore interviewed with also contains videos including “The Death of Masculinity: Why Men Will Rise Again,” “Leftist Violence Against Trump Supporters | True News,” “How Feminism Destroyed Europe” and “Why Feminism Hurts Women: What They Won’t Tell You!”
Incidentally, the idea came to Damore after attending a diversity program hosted by his former employer.
“I went to a diversity program at Google and, you know, it was all … it wasn’t recorded at all, it was totally secretive. And I heard things that I definitely disagreed with in some of our programs. I had some discussions with people there, but there was a lot of just shaming and, ‘No, you can’t say that, that’s sexist, you can’t do this.’ There’s just so much hypocrisy in a lot of the things they were saying. So I decided to create the document just to clarify my thoughts.”
When employed correctly, a focus on diversity and inclusion is in fact a positive thing for companies, data shows. The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list, when expressed as a stock index, outperforms the rest of the market, suggesting that good judgment in one area permeates throughout an organization.
Damore was on a 12-hour flight to China when he began writing the now well-known manifesto, “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.” He is not sure how the memo became public, but he believes people who were complaining about it on Twitter shared it with Gizmodo.
According to Damore, the backlash came as somewhat of a shock.
“It’s surprising. There may be a lot of negative responses in the public, but very few of them actually send me messages because they just want to virtue signal to all their followers, ‘Hey, I’m a great person, I share your morals, and this person is bad.’ But they don’t want to actually have a debate on why I’m wrong or even confront me. They just want to show how self-righteous they are. In contrast, I’ve gotten a ton of personal messages of support, which has been really nice. And I got that at Google before all of this leaked.”
During the interview Molyneux called the idea of white male privilege “the opposite of privilege.”
“There was a surprising amount of attacks that were just against my race and gender, which is exactly what we’re trying to avoid with these things, right?” Damore questioned.
“A lot of this came from me seeing some of the problems in our culture at Google, where a lot of people that weren’t in this group-think just felt totally isolated and alienated,” he said later. “There were many people that came to me and just said, ‘Yeah I’m thinking of leaving Google because this is getting so bad.’ So I really thought it was a problem that Google itself had to fix. And hopefully they do.”
Current and former employees at Google had expressed on social media that the tech giant does not necessarily cultivate a women-friendly culture.
There are many people at Google who share this guy’s views. They do peer performance reviews and interview people. They discriminate.
— Kelly Ellis (@justkelly_ok) August 5, 2017
We have to do this *constantly.* Assumed incompetent until proven otherwise. Over and over and over… it’s exhausting. https://t.co/1e9JwonEhI
— April Wensel (@aprilwensel) August 6, 2017
Today, extremists attacked me directly for asking equal treatment for human beings regardless of gender or race.
— j b d (@rakyll) August 7, 2017
Internal article circulated at work today describing how gender rep gap in SW is due to biological differences btwn men/women.
— Sarah Adams (@sadams007) August 4, 2017
“When we’re just totally blind to new evidence or anything that contradicts our ideology we’ll only drift further and further to the left and into more authoritarian types of policies,” Damore said.
In response to the memo, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that open discussions that employ different schools of thought are acceptable but that the ideas behind Damore’s writing is “not OK.”
CEO Sundar Pichai said “much of what was in” misogynistic memo from engineer “is fair to debate, regardless of whether a vast majority … disagree,” but said language “advancing harmful gender stereotypes” was “not OK.” The employee reportedly has been fired.
“Our co-workers shouldn’t have to worry that each time they open their mouths to speak in a meeting, they have to prove that they are not like the memo states, being ‘agreeable’ rather than ‘assertive,’ showing a ‘lower stress tolerance,’ or being ‘neurotic,’” Pichai said in an memo to Google employees. “At the same time, there are co-workers who are questioning whether they can safely express their views in the workplace (especially those with a minority viewpoint).”
After giving employees the green light to “express themselves” in a way that could create a hostile work environment for certain employees, he then suggested staff members “make an effort over the coming days to reach out to those who might have different perspectives from your own.”