News: Sundar Pichai comes out strongly against internal anti-diversity memo

Culture

Sundar Pichai comes out strongly against internal anti-diversity memo

The Google CEO shot-off an unambiguously worded note and curtailed his family vacation, in order to address a controversial memo on gender diversity published internally by a software engineer
Sundar Pichai comes out strongly against internal anti-diversity memo

Google’s leadership has had to react promptly after an internal memorandum written by a software engineer at the company went viral, for the wrong reasons. The 10-page document criticized Google for its diversity initiatives, and posited that the company had a fewer number of women in technical roles due to biological differences, rather than discrimination. 

First, the company’s vice president of diversity Danielle Brown responded to the essay with her own memo, asserting that the note "advanced incorrect assumptions about gender". Following that, CEO Sundar Pichai, in a note to the company employees, took a strong stand against the circulated memo. 

To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK. It is contrary to our basic values and our Code of Conduct”, Pichai stated in his note.

 He also said that he would be cutting his family holiday short and coming back to work, for addressing the issue.

I have been on work related travel in Africa and Europe the past couple of weeks and had just started my family vacation here this week. I have decided to return tomorrow as clearly there’s a lot more to discuss as a group—including how we create a more inclusive environment for all”, he added.

The news of this development comes in, even as Google faces an investigation by the US Department of Labor, for “systemic compensation disparities against women” across its workforce.

As per a Bloomberg report, James Damore, the Google engineer who wrote the memo, has said that he has been fired by the company for “perpetuating gender stereotypes”, and that he is “currently exploring all possible legal remedies.”

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Topics: Culture, Diversity

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