Sundar Pichai cancels Google diversity meeting after staff threatened

12 August, 2017, 00:16 | Author: Alicia Barber
  • Over 60 women are considering suing Google over claims of sexism and low pay

I know the journey won t always be easy, but to the girls who dream of being an engineer or an entrepreneur, and who dream of creating incredible things: I want you to know that there s a place for you in this industry, there s a place for you at Google. "You belong here, and we need you", Pichai said.

On Thursday, the highest-ranking question on Dory, a system for Google staff to vote on questions, was from an employee who was anxious they would be harassed or threatened if their opinion was leaked to outsiders.

Women who work in the industry are increasingly choosing to speak out about their experiences in this male-dominated domain, and to challenge the statistics that demonstrate that they remain a minority, despite high-profile campaigns and initiatives aimed at redressing the balance.

The Verge reported that just after cancelling the meeting, Pichai spoke at a coding event catering to young women.

Former Google engineer James Damore says his firing lends weight to the validity of his viewpoint that the internet giant is biased against employees who don't subscribe to politically correct "ideology". Right-wing groups seized on Mr. Damore's ouster as another example of what they said was Silicon Valley's intolerant stance toward conservatives, while hailing him as a hero with the courage of his convictions.

Pichai, a 13-year veteran at Google, has been in his role as CEO for nearly two years now. He fired Damore and wrote, "To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not O.K".

Rex Tillerson says Russia's election interference has 'created serious mistrust'
Heightened tension is also tied to a US investigation into links between members of Trump's campaign team and Russian officials. Tillerson said Russian meddling in the election had "created serious mistrust between our two countries".

Danielle Brown, Google's new Vice President of Diversity, Integrity and Governance, also issued a statement to Google employees in response to the viral memo. "We'll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul".

Google employees hold a wide range of political views.

Despite citing copious scientific evidence, Damore was denounced and swiftly hounded out Google. Indeed, to build effective teams, companies must embrace a variety of different views, including from those who acutely feel the loss of privilege as the culture and composition of a company changes. Damore has said that he is considering legal action against the company.

Besides that, Google is now engaged in a legal battle with the US Department of Labor as the company has been accused for wage discrimination. That won praise from some liberals, but it also created a backlash among more conservative employees at Google as well as from so-called "alt-right" activists outside the company.

At Apple, about 49 percent employees thought Google was wrong to fire Damore.

In an email to the New York Times, Google software engineer James Damore wrote that he had been fired because of the manifesto, which he claimed he had written with the aim of nurturing an honest discussion on the company's diversity policies.

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