Google fires memo writer who defended gender gap in firms
SAN FRANCISCO: Google on Monday fired the author of an internal memo defending the gender gap in Silicon Valley tech jobs as a matter of biology, according to media reports.
The move, which was not confirmed by Google, fuelled a controversy about whether “political correctness” at the company was stifling free speech.
In an email to employees, Google chief executive Sundar Pichai supported the right of employees to express themselves, saying that much of what was in the memo is fair to debate, according to a copy of the message.
“However, portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace,” Pichai said in the email.
“To suggest a group of our colleagues has traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK.”
Recode, Bloomberg and other media outlets reported that the author of the document was fired.
The news became a hot topic at Twitter, with some calling the employee a martyr and railing against Google for punishing him for expressing a view that went against Silicon Valley’s efforts to promote diversity at tech companies.
The document that triggered the controversy claimed “biological causes” explained the lack of women in tech industry leadership roles. AFP