In an over-the-top attempt to prove that irony in Silicon Valley is officially dead, Google just fired one of its top scientists for writing an internal memo that criticized the tech giant for becoming an “ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too sacred to be honestly discussed.” VICE obtained a copy of the the memo and published it on Monday evening.
Rather than being a screed against women or minorities, as the media and their progressive allies have proclaimed, the internal memo from former Google scientist James Damore — entitled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” — encouraged Google employees to take account of their own biases as a means of reducing the so-called gender gap in tech employment. In fact, a major purpose of the memo was to brainstorm ideas about how to make Google a more friendly environment for women without resorting to explicit sex-based discrimination.
Damore, who received a master’s degree in biology from Harvard University, noted that women, in general, tend to be more people-focused and more cooperative than men.
“We can make software engineering more people-oriented with pair programming and more collaboration,” Damore wrote.
He also commented that because women tend to crave work-life balance more than their male counterparts who tend to focus primarily on status, Google could create a better environment for women by offering more opportunities for part-time work.
“Allowing and truly endorsing (as part of our culture) part time work can keep more women in tech,” he suggested.
In his memo, Damore also called out Google for potentially illegal discriminatory activities in which the company regularly engaged.
“Stop restricting programs and classes to certain genders or races,” Damore wrote. “These discriminatory practices are both unfair and divisive. Instead focus on some of the non-discriminatory practices I outlined.”
Google’s infamous political bias was also targeted by Damore, who wrote that the company needed to “stop alienating conservatives” and “confront Google’s biases”:
Viewpoint diversity is arguably the most important type of diversity and political orientation is one of the most fundamental and significant ways in which people view things differently. In highly progressive environments, conservatives are a minority that feel like they need to stay in the closet to avoid open hostility. We should empower those with different ideologies to be able to express themselves. Alienating conservatives is both non-inclusive and generally bad business because conservatives tend to be higher in conscientiousness, which is required for much of the drudgery and maintenance work characteristic of a mature company
You can read the full memo from former Google scientist James Damore here.