Google cancels townhall meeting about controversial anti-diversity memo

Former Google engineer James Damore said he shared the 3,300-word memo internally a month ago

Former Google engineer James Damore said he shared the 3,300-word memo internally a month ago

Software engineer James Damore was sacked Monday after he wrote a post criticizing Google's diversity initiatives.

It follows Damore's own admission in an interview yesterday that he'd had far more letters of support than he had condemning him.

But rather than disappearing into the white noise of the often heated diversity discussion, Damore instantly became a celebrity. Others argued that Mr. Damore's firing only reinforced his message that Google had created "a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence". That outcome could galvanize any backlash against Alphabet's ongoing efforts to make its workforce more diverse. He told Molyneux he chose to write the memo after attending a Google diversity program, where he heard things he "definitely disagreed with".

Google employees were set to conduct a major meeting on gender issues in the wake of the widely condemned 10-page manifesto published by now former employee James Damore, but it has been cancelled by CEO Sundar Pichai. Google employees made up 441 of the responses to the survey, and 56 percent of them said they did not think Google should have fired Damore. The company's shares closed on Monday, essentially unchanged.

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A number of Google leaders have spoken out about the memo in the days since it circulated. That provision was used as the basis for firing Mr. Damore who later revealed he's considering suing his former employer, though it's now unclear how likely is he to go through with that decision.

"We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company", Brown said in the statement. "We'll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul", according to Bloomberg Technology.

Meanwhile, more than 60 women may sue Google, alleging gender discrimination, sexism and pay disparities.

Damore's memo is so radioactive that it reportedly even divided the ranks of top executives who report directly to Pichai. Private employers can largely fire workers for any reason. "You have just created a textbook hostile workplace environment", he wrote. And some are anxious that you can not speak out at work freely.

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The report quoted a female Google employee as saying that she regularly dealt with sexist remarks such as comments about her looks. After some thought, her mother responded, "No, it's not true", she wrote.

He reflected on how Silicon Valley culture discourages the airing of right-leaning sentiments.

"There's a place for you in this industry".

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