Engineer: Google Proved My Point by Firing Me
James Damore says company can't tolerate opposing views
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2017 6:00 AM CDT
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Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

(Newser) – The Google engineer who wrote a controversial memo about why so few women work in tech also complained in that same memo that Google had an "ideological echo chamber" and oppressed opposing views. "My firing neatly confirms that point," writes James Damore in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. In the memo, "I suggested that at least some of the male-female disparity in tech could be attributed to biological differences (and, yes, I said that bias against women was a factor too)," he writes. Damore says that when he first presented his ideas internally to diversity groups and individuals at the company, there was no great controversy. Then the memo—he describes it as a "reasoned, well-researched, good-faith argument"—went viral, and everything changed.

"In my document, I committed heresy against the Google creed by stating that not all disparities between men and women that we see in the world are the result of discriminatory treatment." His most ardent critics couldn't accept the possibility that his ideas had even a kernel of truth. Eventually, "upper management tried to placate this surge of outrage by shaming me and misrepresenting my document," and, finally, firing him. Damore writes that he's sad to leave. But if "Google continues to ignore the very real issues raised by its diversity policies and corporate culture, it will be walking blind into the future—unable to meet the needs of its remarkable employees and sure to disappoint its billions of users." Read his full column. (David Brooks thinks Google CEO should resign over the Damore controversy.)

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