Engineer behind controversial manifesto is out at Google


Google's efforts to close the gender gap are misguided because women have more "neuroticism", according to a controversial manifesto written by an unnamed male engineer at the search-engine giant.

Google has fired James Damore, the senior software engineer who wrote the 10-page anti-diversity memo.

After he was terminated, Mr Damore - whose sacking has not been officially confirmed by the company - told Reuters that he was exploring his options and said he had filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board before he was sacked. Adam Galinsky, chair of management at Columbia Business School, said companies may have a legitimate reason for firing someone for expressing views that disrupt the professional environment. The note did not specifically say if the memo was the cause for firing. Uber Technologies Inc. Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick lost his job in June amid scandals over sexual harassment, discrimination and an aggressive culture.

Several of the top honchos within Google also came down heavily against the memo, claiming the discriminatory charges leveled against it to be baseless.

"In an email to CBS News, Damore said was "...wrongfully terminated" ...for "perpetuating gender stereotypes".

SYDELL: He has. And essentially he has said he is going to sue the company.

Reactions to the memo inside Google have been fierce and divisive. By Monday, he confirmed that he was sacked for breaking company rules.

Damore apparently wrote that the shortage of women in the tech industry is not due to sexism or any other bias, but is directly attributable to the biological difference between men and women. In internal discussion boards, multiple employees said they supported firing the author, and some said they would not choose to work with him, according to postings viewed by Bloomberg News.

Danielle Brown, who joined Google as a vice president a few weeks ago, said Google is "unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success". "We'll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul".

The U.S. Department of Labor is investigating whether Google has unlawfully paid women less than men. So essentially James Damore would be able to review his peers, and people are promoted given salaries based on what their peers say about them. The website has promised more interviews with anonymous employees in a series dubbed, "Rebels of Google". But any kind of "call to action" directed at other employees could also fall into this category, said Eric Meyer, a labor law partner Dilworth Paxson who runs the blog The Employer Handbook.

In her initial response to the memo, Brown, who joined from Intel June, suggested that Google was open to all hosting "difficult political views", including those in the memo. One former Google software engineer tweeted in March that she'd been harassed at the company. "It is contrary to our basic values and our code of conduct", he said.