Late last week, James Damore unleashed an internal document at Google called “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber“. The resulting Salt Tsunami was to be expected, as apparently thousands of employees have smothered him with hate mail and requests to management for his immediate dismissal. Here are some leaked caps (don’t you hate being spied upon?) from their internal Google+ network:
Yet, an internal poll shows that a substantial number of employees feel the same way:
Somewhat surprising. Here is the memo released in response by Danielle Brown, “Google’s brand new VP of Diversity, Integrity & Governance”.
I’m Danielle, Google’s brand new VP of Diversity, Integrity & Governance. I started just a couple of weeks ago, and I had hoped to take another week or so to get the lay of the land before introducing myself to you all. But given the heated debate we’ve seen over the past few days, I feel compelled to say a few words.
Many of you have read an internal document shared by someone in our engineering organization, expressing views on the natural abilities and characteristics of different genders, as well as whether one can speak freely of these things at Google. And like many of you, I found that it advanced incorrect assumptions about gender. I’m not going to link to it here as it’s not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages.
Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate. We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, and we’ll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul. As Ari Balogh said in his internal G+ post, “Building an open, inclusive environment is core to who we are, and the right thing to do. ‘Nuff said. ”
Google has taken a strong stand on this issue, by releasing its demographic data and creating a company wide OKR on diversity and inclusion. Strong stands elicit strong reactions. Changing a culture is hard, and it’s often uncomfortable. But I firmly believe Google is doing the right thing, and that’s why I took this job.
Part of building an open, inclusive environment means fostering a culture in which those with alternative views, including different political views, feel safe sharing their opinions. But that discourse needs to work alongside the principles of equal employment found in our Code of Conduct, policies, and anti-discrimination laws.
I’ve been in the industry for a long time, and I can tell you that I’ve never worked at a company that has so many platforms for employees to express themselves—TGIF, Memegen, internal G+, thousands of discussion groups. I know this conversation doesn’t end with my email today. I look forward to continuing to hear your thoughts as I settle in and meet with Googlers across the company.
James has a PhD in Biology from Harvard, but surely the 23 year-old Diverse Feminist Nazi Punching Correct Thinking individuals know better than him.
Brianna Wu seems to think he wears the pants….
Some of the reaction/salt/damage control:
***UPDATE*** James Damore has been fired in response, and is now considering legal action.