Male engineer at the centre of current diversity uproar in Silicon Valley.
The news comes a little over a week after Google engineer, James Damore, authored an internal memo in which he stated that there were innate biological differences behind the gender inequalities that are rampant in the tech industry.
Damore confirmed his dismissal Monday, in an email where he claimed he had been fired for for “perpetuating gender stereotypes”.
Earlier that same Monday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent am ‘internal’ email to Google employees that said parts of Damore’s memo “violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.” A Google representative responded to questions by the Bloomberg website by simply referring them to Pichai’s memo.
Damore has since said that he is exploring all possible legal avenues open to him over his firing and that he has delivered a report to the US National Labor Relations Board, openly accusing Google’s upper management of trying to silence his actions through the medium of shame.
As a non-union or “at will” employee, Damore has found himself at the mercy of US employment laws that mean he can be fired for anyone of a number of reasons that do not have anything to do with work performance.
The memo that has reignited the diversity debate in the Tech sector was a 10-page memorandum written by Damore that effectively accused Google of intentionally silencing conservative political opinions, and that also argued that biological differences between genders plays a significant role in the shortage of women in tech and leadership positions.
The memo became widely circulated within Google before it entered the public arena at the end of last week. Damore claims that part of his firing was due to Google execs caving to public pressure for his removal.
Danielle Brown, Google’s new vice president for diversity, integrity and governance, issued a company wide email similar to that of Pichai that condemned Damore’s memo and views, and also sought to reaffirm the company’s stance on diversity: “We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company… We’ll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul.”