Fired Google Engineer Is Not Backing Down From Memo on Women

Posted August 10, 2017

"We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism".

"Differences in distributions of traits between men and women may in part explain why we don't have 50% representation of women in tech and leadership", Damore wrote in the memo.

Google has fired the employee who penned a controversial memo on women and tech. Many people were furious about what Damore wrote.

Damore is clearly a very talented software engineer - a job you wouldn't get at a company like Google unless you were.

While many have described Damore's memo as inherently sexist, a number of conservatives have rushed to his defense. The spokesperson would not say why Damore left the program. People must feel free to express dissent.

This incident has ignited a whole new issue surrounding free speech and where to draw the line.

Legal and employment experts noted, however, that companies have broad latitude to restrict the speech of employees and that First Amendment protections do not apply in the workplace. "I have a legal right to express my concerns about the terms and conditions of my working environment and to bring up potentially illegal behavior, which is what my document does", he said. Damore says he has already filed a labor complaint, the AP reports, claiming he was subject to "coercive statements" at the company.

However, it's unclear if Damore actually has a case, In the U.S. the First Amendment protects Americans' free speech rights from being restricted by the government, not their employer. "Who would want to work with him?" he said.

In other words, Damore would have to somehow prove he was sacked specifically for his NLRB complaint and not for the memo itself.

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"It's just embarrassing for Google", he continued.

Damore also said the company makes it hard to dissent from "Google's left bias" and "politically correct monoculture", and criticized Google for offering mentoring and other opportunities to employees based on gender and race.

Google is now defending itself from a lawsuit from the US Department of Labour which is alleging that the company systematically discriminates against women.

The document cited purported principles of evolutionary psychology to argue that women make up only 20 percent of Google's technical staff because they are more interested in people than in ideas, which the author considers an obstacle to being a good engineer.

Google was also under investigation by the federal government earlier this year for allegedly underpaying its female employees, an accusation it denies.

At the end of the day, the tech industry has a diversity problem and the only way to fix it is by hearing from all sides - however much you may disagree with them.

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, formerly of Google, posted on Facebook in wake of Damore's manifesto: "Inequality in tech isn't due to gender differences". He then went on to argue that women were less biologically suited to be engineers.

A February 2016 study from the Peterson Institute for International Economics and EY showed companies with more women leaders are more profitable. "I used to think Google was one of the coolest companies on earth".