Google fires engineer James Damore, who wrote anti-diversity memo

‘Portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace’: Google CEO Sundar Pichai

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 August, 2017, 12:25pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 August, 2017, 10:11pm

Google has fired an employee who wrote an internal memo that ascribed gender inequality in the technology industry to biological differences.

James Damore, the engineer who wrote the memo, confirmed his dismissal on Monday, saying in an email that he had been fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes”.

Damore said he is exploring all possible legal remedies.

Google said it could not talk about individual employee cases.

“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,” Damore wrote in an internal company memo last week.

“Portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace,” Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said in an internal email seen on Monday.

The memo stoked a heated debate over treatment of women in the male-dominated Silicon Valley that has boiled for months following sexual harassment scandals at Uber Technologies Inc and several venture capital firms.

Google’s vice president of diversity, Danielle Brown, sent a memo in response to the furore, saying the engineer’s essay “advanced incorrect assumptions about gender”.