LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — Google’s new head of diversity has rejected an internal commentary from an employee who suggested women don’t get ahead in tech jobs because of biological differences.
Danielle Brown, who was named a vice president at the search giant only a few weeks ago, says Google is “unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success,” according to a copy of her response obtained by technology news website Gizmodo.
While acknowledging that “(d)iversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate”, Brown also criticized the employee memo, saying “it advanced incorrect assumptions about gender.”
Written by an unidentified employee, the memo, titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” begins by saying that only honest discussion will address a lack of equity.
“If we can’t have an honest discussion about this, then we can never truly solve the problem,” the memo states. “Google has several biases and honest discussion about these biases is being silenced by the dominant ideology. What follows is by no means the complete story, but it’s a perspective that desperately needs to be told at Google.”
The statement goes on to highlight what the writer alleges to be an unofficial company-wide bias that favors the political left and ignores ideological diversity in an effort to bolster racial and gender equality.
Citing examples such as programs and classes “only for people with a certain gender or race” and an alleged “high priority queue and special treatment for ‘diversity’ candidates, the memo also takes aim at what it describes as Google’s “politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence.”
But it’s the section of the memo that asserts natural differences in men and women – suggesting that women “prefer jobs in social and artistic areas” while more men “may like coding because it requires systemizing” – that has fueled the most debate about gender politics in Silicon Valley.
“These differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership,” the memo states.
A diversity report earlier this year found nearly 70 percent of Google’s workforce was comprised of men.
The company is currently under federal investigation for paying women less than men.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)