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13 August 2017, 04:38 | Lucia Cruz
James Damore Working at Google Is Like Being in a ‘Cult’ Peter Duke by Charlie Nash13 Aug 20170 13 Aug 2017 13 Aug 2017
His views are crucial at a time when an anti-diversity manifesto, written by a Google software engineer James Damore, which claimed that "the representation gap between men and women in software engineering persists because of biological differences between the two sexes". It wasn't until the memo went viral inside Google and was leaked externally last weekend that Google made a decision to take action, he said.
In "Why I was sacked by Google", Damore reveals the toxic workplace culture in the company, where sharing opinions is limited to a certain ideological spectrum.
Google chief executive Sundar Pichai told employees in a note on Monday that portions of the anti-diversity memo "violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace".
Google's internal "Dory" system allows employees to ask questions and then vote on questions posed by other employees so managers can address the most pressing ones. Conservative commentators such as former Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos - several Google employees who are gay, lesbian or transgender. It has become an all-out culture war outside the company, as well, putting Google and its employees in the crosshairs. Rather than pick up the thread of his objections to the gender diversity policies within Google, Damore focuses on the second main argument of his thesis, which dealt with Google's inflexibility on intellectual diversity.
The U.S. far right plans to take its dispute with Google to the company's doorsteps, with a nationwide "March on Google" set to take place this month.
"Googlers are writing in, concerned about their safety and anxious they may be "outed" publicly for asking a question in the Town Hall", Pichai told employees, explaining his decision to cancel the all-hands meeting.
But many have come to Damore's defense, particularly those who oppose what Damore called Google's "left bias". "But our Dory questions appeared externally this afternoon, and on some websites Googlers are now being named personally", Pichai said in an email to staff.
Damore has been on a media tour, giving interviews to Bloomberg and conservative YouTube host Stefan Molyneux. My firing neatly confirms that point. Fired4Truth, widely believed to be Damore'sTwitter account, is closing in on 50,000 followers in a matter of days. Damore has now filed a complaint against Alphabet under a provision of the National Labor Relations Act that protects workers' rights activists. Google and Outfront didn't immediately return requests for more information.
Inside Google, the memo and its fallout represent perhaps the biggest setback to what has been a foundational premise for employees: the freedom to speak up about anything and everything.
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