As employees fear online harassment, Google cancels gender issues meeting

Sundar Pichai

Google CEO Sundar Pichai Justin Sullivan Getty Images

This is "where angels fear to tread" territory. Damore was sacked by Google on Monday, but this decision only escalated the situation.

Earlier Thursday, WIRED reported that Google employees had submitted more than 520 questions for the planned session, some critical of Damore's reasoning and conclusions, and others concerned that he had been fired for speaking his mind.

The Google engineer who blamed biological differences for the paucity of women in tech had every right to express his views. "So it's really important that more women and girls have the opportunity to participate in technology, to learn how to code, create, and innovate", he added.

Blamed for years for not hiring enough women and minorities - and not welcoming them once they are hired - tech companies such as Google, Facebook and Uber have promised big changes.

Damore also laments the fact that it has become unsafe to challenge the progressive orthodoxy within Google. Damore also complained that Google's liberal bent and training programs have created an ideological echo chamber that makes it hard to discuss such issues inside the company. "This silence removes any checks against encroaching extremist and authoritarian policies", he wrote.

So how did Google react? Damore was a software engineer at the search giant's Mountain View headquarters until Monday afternoon, when he said he was sacked for "perpetuating gender stereotypes". This was after his memo had provoked a tsunami of moral outrage across the liberal left. The controversy prompted Google's top executive to cancel his summer vacation and return to the firm's headquarters to criticize the contents of the document penned by one James Damore who was laid off on Monday. And if you're one of those aggrieved white guys out there harboring the odd misconception that your voice is being unfairly stifled by "political correctness", say it 15 more times, because it just doesn't seem like this concept has sunk in. VIDEO: Google Memo: Fired Employee Speaks Out "I do plan to have a career in tech - I found it very fascinating", said Technovation finalist Lilyan Sullivan. This might be true to some point as the percentage of men in Google is extremely high than that of women. He then has the temerity to accuse women of generally displaying a "stronger interest in people rather than things", of having empathy and "openness directed towards feelings and aesthetics", and of being less pushy and having less interest in status than male colleagues. To illustrate this distinction, take height.

This is a distinction Damore makes repeatedly, pointing out that it would be irrational to discriminate against individual women by assuming they possess these population-level characteristics.

"(White men) are too neurotic and tend to perform better in bubbles in which their sense of dominance is reinforced by other neurotic white men", Huppke wrote.

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