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Google wrestles with aftermath from controversial memo
13 August 2017, 04:39 | Bernard Bryant
He wrote that when the document went viral, "the upper management sent angry emails to Google's human-resources department and everyone up his management chain, demanding censorship, retaliation and atonement".
And Google employees typically have a lot to say.
Google has just endured what may be the most painful week in its history.
That openness has gone hand-in-hand with the expectation that what was said at Google would stay within Google.
As controversy continues to swirl around James Damore, the Google engineer who was sacked after writing a memo about gender diversity at the company, the longtime New York Times columnist David Brooks has placed blame squarely on the shoulders of Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
Google chief Sundar Pichai said Dimore "crossd the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in Google's workplace". Volunteers are planning a march on the company offices in nine cities on August 19, according to the March on Google website. A number of Google employees who had been outspoken on the matter started facing harassment on the internet.
Damore argued that this created an environment where only certain opinions could be voiced and slammed the tech giant in its attempt to "silence open and honest discussion". Damore said he shared the missive, titled "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber", about a month ago with specific individuals and groups focused on diversity before posting it to a mailing list called "skeptics" on August 2.
The controversy has fueled a national debate, at a time when Silicon Valley has had to grapple with tough questions about the diversity of its ranks.
It's that economic, cultural, and political disconnect that fueled populism on the Right, on which Donald Trump capitalized by acknowledging and legitimizing it. Republicans took this as a culture-war opportunity, but they're missing a large part of the problem by overlooking Main Street economics. But on external websites, some Google employees who had spoken out against Damore's memo were being harassed.
"In recognition of Googlers' concerns, we need to step back and create a better set of conditions for us to have the discussion", Mr. Pichai wrote. Can we trust a company that expels Damore for offering a challenge to internal orthodoxy to handle external user heterodoxy fairly and equitably? Many Google employees recoiled at the document after he shared it more widely last week. Screenshots of the questions with names attached had been leaked, although none with names had been published as of late Thursday, a Google spokeswoman said.
Numerous reports are showing that more than 60 women are considering pursuing a class-action lawsuit against Google over pay disparities which affect women.
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