Google employees are reacting with outrage to a manifesto written by a senior engineer that criticizes the company’s efforts to improve workforce diversity and its “left leaning” bias.
The 10-page treatise, titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” argues that women are underrepresented in tech not as a result of bias and discrimination but rather biological difference between men and women. The document, which was first reported by Motherboard, reportedly went viral inside the company after being posted on an internal network.
“We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism,” reads the document, a copy of which was obtained by Gizmodo.
Several Google employees took to Twitter on Friday to criticize the document and its author.
The controversy comes as Silicon Valley companies grapple with how to increase workforce diversity in an industry dominated by white men. Google, Facebook, Microsoft and other tech companies now regularly release diversity reports, highlighting low percentages of women and minority employees, with few moving up the management chain.
Google is also being sued by the US Labor Department, which accuses the search giant of systematically paying its female employees less than it pays men. The company strongly denies that assertion.
The document also calls on the company to “stop alienating conservatives.”
“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,” the author goes on to say.
Motherboard didn’t identify the document’s author, but said it was written by a senior software engineer.
Danielle Brown, Google’s recently hired head of diversity, responded to the document in an internal memo.
“Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate. We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, and we’ll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul,” Brown wrote in a memo obtained by Recode.
Solving for XX: The industry seeks to overcome outdated ideas about “women in tech.”
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