It’s been 6 months since Google fired Software Engineer James Damore, who authored a controversial paper in a memo that highlighted differences between men and women which he claimed might account for the lack of women in STEM as well as critising Google’s internal diversity policies. I covered this when I first read the memo 6 months ago in a YouTube video in which I read and interperated the memo in full.
The video I produced in response to the memo can be watched below (personal views).
The memo was widely criticised in the tech sector for simplifying a complicated issue and James Damore was dismissed from his position.
Now 6 months on, Google CEO Sundar Pichai says he still believes that it was appropriate to fire James Damore. “I don’t regret it” said Pichai, in an interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher and MSNBC’s Ari Melber.
“It was the right decision,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, who echoed the CEO onstage.
The decision to get rid of Damore received a lot of praise — and also a lot of condemnation. And now, Damore is threatening a class action lawsuit, alleging discrimination against what he labels as conservative views. (As a corporation, Google is within its legal rights to fire an “at-will” employee for just about anything, as long as they aren’t discriminating against a protected class.)
Pichai insisted “The last thing we do when we make decisions like this is look at it with a political lens,” and stated it was important that Google “create a culture that is more supportive and inclusive of” women.
Wojcicki echoed that “if something violates our code of conduct, we should be able to take an action.” She said Damore’s writing struck a chord because she has devoted her career to technology and has encouraged other women to follow suit.
His remarks “just seemed to set us back so far in so many ways.”