The formerly anonymous author who penned the “anti-diversity” memo at Google that leaked this weekend, James Damore, has been fired for speaking his mind.
Following the social media outrage with calls for his termination and the creation of industry blacklists, Google CEO Sundar Pichai released a company-wide notice stating that the senior engineer violated the company’s Code of Conduct. Damore has since confirmed his dismissal.
In the memo, Damore called the tech giant’s diversity initiatives as an “ideological echo chamber,” and advocated for diversity of ideas and meritocracy. He suggested that basic psychological variances can explain the lack of women in certain sectors of the industry.
Pichai’s memo, titled “Our words matter,” states that the contents of the email were “fair to debate, regardless of whether a vast majority of Googlers disagree with it,” according to Recode.
“However, portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace,” continued Pichai. “Our job is to build great products for users that make a difference in their lives. To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK. It is contrary to our basic values and our Code of Conduct, which expects ‘each Googler to do their utmost to create a workplace culture that is free of harassment, intimidation, bias and unlawful discrimination.”
Damore’s email has become radioactive for Google, with many within the company also calling for repercussions. The Daily Caller viewed evidence of multiple internal emails showing conversations between various senior engineers demanding retribution for the memo’s contents and circulation.
Bloomberg reports that Damore was fired after internal discussion as multiple employees supported firing him for airing his views. The senior engineer confirmed his dismissal in an email to the publication.
Google is currently caught up in a dispute with the Department of Labor over a claim that it systemically discriminates against women through a gender gap.
Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.