Over the weekend, a 10-page document written by a Google employee expressed a need to stop its diversity campaigns and focus on ideological diversity. Google's newly appointed vice president for Diversity, Integrity and Governance has addressed Googlers about the document.
The document "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber" was first published on Friday and had been read by several employees who took to Twitter to slam the company's ideology. The document was still being shared among company's software engineering teams on Saturday.
The post, written by a male software engineer, went viral within the organisation for its controversial content, which went to the extent of saying that women in the same position as men, were paid less not due to any bias but because of inherent psychological differences between the genders.
To quell the situation, Google's new vice president of Diversity, Integrity and Governance, Danielle Brown, penned a response which was sent as a memo to Google employees. Motherboard, which had originally reported about the anti-diversity manifesto, happened to receive Brown's memo from a Google employee.
Brown has stated that the diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of Google's values and the culture it continues to cultivate. Brown also said that the viewpoints expressed in the manifesto are not endorsed by her or by the company.
Here is the memo in full.
I'm Danielle, Google's brand new VP of Diversity, Integrity & Governance. I started just a couple of weeks ago, and I had hoped to take another week or so to get the lay of the land before introducing myself to you all. But given the heated debate we've seen over the past few days, I feel compelled to say a few words.
Many of you have read an internal document shared by someone in our engineering organisation, expressing views on the natural abilities and characteristics of different genders, as well as whether one can speak freely of these things at Google. And like many of you, I found that it advanced incorrect assumptions about gender. I'm not going to link to it here as it's not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages.
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. As Ari Balogh said in his internal G+ post, "Building an open, inclusive environment is core to who we are, and the right thing to do. 'Nuff said. "
Google has taken a strong stand on this issue, by releasing its demographic data and creating a company wide OKR on diversity and inclusion. Strong stands elicit strong reactions. Changing a culture is hard, and it's often uncomfortable. But I firmly believe Google is doing the right thing, and that's why I took this job.
Part of building an open, inclusive environment means fostering a culture in which those with alternative views, including different political views, feel safe sharing their opinions. But that discourse needs to work alongside the principles of equal employment found in our Code of Conduct, policies, and anti-discrimination laws.
I've been in the industry for a long time, and I can tell you that I've never worked at a company that has so many platforms for employees to express themselves—TGIF, Memegen, internal G+, thousands of discussion groups. I know this conversation doesn't end with my email today. I look forward to continuing to hear your thoughts as I settle in and meet with Googlers across the company.
In a Medium post, a former Googler Yonatan Zunger has said that the author of the manifesto does not seem to understand gender, engineering or the consequences of what he has written. Speaking on engineering, Zunger said that engineering was all about co-operation, collaboration and empathy for both your colleagues and your customers.
"All of these traits which the manifesto described as “female” are the core traits which make someone successful at engineering. Anyone can learn how to write code...The truly hard parts about this job are knowing which code to write," says Zunger.