Google cancels gen­der-is­sues meet­ing

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM -

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Google Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Sun­dar Pichai can­celed an in­ter­nal town-hall-style meet­ing meant to ad­dress gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion af­ter em­ployee ques­tions for man­age­ment be­gan to leak on­line.

Pichai said in an email to staff that sev­eral Google em­ploy­ees be­came fear­ful for their safety and grew con­cerned about be­ing outed for speak­ing up at the meet­ing.

He said the com­pany will aim to cre­ate sev­eral other fo­rums “where peo­ple can feel com­fort­able to speak freely.” Pichai’s email was sent about an hour be­fore the event was to start Thurs­day af­ter­noon.

The meet­ing was meant to hear out em­ployee griev­ances over a flare-up that has con­sumed Google for much of the week. It be­gan last week­end af­ter en­gi­neer James Damore cir­cu­lated a memo that claimed bi­o­log­i­cal gen­der dif­fer­ences helped ex­plain why women are un­der­rep­re­sented at the com­pany.

Google fired Damore on Mon­day. The en­gi­neer has claimed he had a right to voice con­cerns over work­place con­di­tions and filed a la­bor re­la­tions board com­plaint prior to be­ing fired.

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