A Google software engineer has penned a 10-page “manifesto” revealing why he believes women struggle in Silicon Valley. However, the internal document went public over the weekend and the tech behemoth has had to go into damage control, forced to defend its own poor record on racial and gender diversity.
Google has acknowledged the existence of the document, however, the actual author of the piece is yet to be identified. You can read it in full here.
In the piece titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber”, the writer argues that there are fundamental differences between men and women, hence, why, in his opinion, men seem to excel at tech careers where women struggle.
“I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership,” the author wrote.
He also wrote that Google’s focus on diversity (a “left bias”) tends to alienate conservatives, which he believes is bad for business as conservatives tend to be more conscientious, a trait that is required for “much of the drudgery and maintenance work characteristic of a mature company”. He added that those with more right or conservative viewpoints at Google had to “stay in the closet” to avoid open hostility.
The author wrote that he believed that women were less interested in coding careers because they preferred jobs involving “people and aesthetics”, and that the low number of women in “high stress jobs” is down to them having more “neuroticism”. He added: “We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism.”
After a number of female staff described their disgust at the document on social media, Google was forced to send out a company-wide memo saying the document did not represent the company’s views.
Google’s new vice-president of diversity, integrity and governance, Danielle Brown, sent an email to company employees saying the document includes “incorrect assumptions about gender” and were “not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages”.
In April, the US Department of Labor found that there were systemic issues with equal pay across the company, and went on to describe discrimination there as “quite extreme”.
In June, Google released data showing that the proportion of female and black employees across the company as a whole had not changed from 2015 to 2016. However, there was a modest increase in the proportion of women in tech and leadership roles and the number of Latino employees, but only a fifth of Google’s tech roles were filled by women. Asian employees made up 35 per cent of the company’s workforce, but they were grossly underrepresented in leadership roles.