Google engineer pens 10-page anti-diversity manifesto, says gender gaps don’t imply sexism

4 min read
13

Google Manifest states diversity programs are mis-guided 2

Technology companies, especially those in the prominent Silicon Valley, have a really big issue when it comes to diversifying staff, ensuring both men and woman are paid equally for the same work, and cleaning up an image of sexism, racism and harassment. Google is one of many companies attempting to tackle the issue head on with internal diversification programs. These programs seek to change established norms, by helping school young women to foster a greater love for engineering and programming, ensuring hiring practices help diversify employee ranks and giving fair, equal chances to all within the company.

That’s the baseline, broad look at the imitative, but one Google Software Engineer thinks it’s misguided. In a widely shared, 10-page manifesto initially circulated within the company (and obtained by Gizmodo), one of Google’s male engineers takes aim at the company’s diversity program, labelling it as misguided and ideologically skewed. The manifesto, which is titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” takes aim at many issues, including the spread of men and woman within the company, why pay gaps exist and the dangers of left leaning moral programs such as this.

The manifesto is lengthy, and Gizmodo’s full transcript of it is worth a read to get a much more in-depth look at this particular employee’s thinking. But it’s a stance that Google was quick to vehemently disagree with. The manifesto makes mention of psychological and biological differences that might explain why men are more drawn to programming and engineering positions, stating that woman are more artistically inclined. The document also suggests that woman crave more balanced lifestyles while men will routinely sacrifice this for work, which might explain the large differences in pay.

Read  ISPs are being pressured to block piracy websites

Aside from ignoring social issues in this arguments, it’s an ironic statement, given that Google is currently being investigated by the American Department of Labour for “systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce.”

In a statement printed by Motherboard, Google’s new Vice President of Diversity, Integrity & Governance Danielle Brown addressed the manifesto directly and strongly rejected many of its stances. Brown stated that she found the document “advanced incorrect assumptions about gender,” and stressed that Google is “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.” Brown also acknowledged the right to be able to share views freely, but cautioned that “discourse needs to work alongside the principles of equal employment found in our Code of Conduct, policies, and anti-discrimination laws.” Brown’s full statement can be found here.

Attitudes such as these are not uncommon in the exponentially going tech space, and it’s clear that even large companies with entire departments dedicated to tackling diversity issues head on still struggle with internal viewpoints that seek to keep ideals locked in the past. Google might just be the talking point for this week – who really knows how many other companies embody principles such as these at their core.

Read  Google fires engineer who authored anti-diversity manifesto

Last Updated: August 7, 2017

  • Quentin Huggett

    Have you read it? Googles response to it is poor, and does not actually defeat his position.
    Instead they reject on the basis of it doesn’t feeeel right. Which is exactly the point being made.

    This stuff should be discussed, as the assumption on both sides are wrong.

    • Alessandro Barbosa

      “does not actually defeat his position” – His position includes statements about psychological and biology difference that he then uses to widely brush woman with steroetypical attributes concerning their likes, dislikes and potential value to a tech company. And he does this not only by ognoring social factors that have an effect on a person’s personility, but without any real sources or insigtful research to even support it (despite the fact that research suggesting sex and race can determine brackets such as IQ are absurd to say the least, something which he seems to think is real too).

      So yeah I read it. And I think some parts try to suggest that he wants a more imperical approach to diversity, taking into account data and “facts” and ignoring social constructs that exist to also influence and effect workplaces. But the sort of data he wants to impose on this is just gross and flawed. It borders on the sort of studies that used to suggest one race was better than a another based on “science”.

      • Quentin Huggett

        I am not saying i agree with his entire view point. But he does have some points that need discussing.

        What we don’t need is these blanket statements. To say woman get paid less because of sexism is gross over simplification of the facts and indeed makes the whole situation more inflamed. Not only that it makes a generalized implication once again that ALL men get more money and preferential treatment, which is just as sexist and reprehensible. I get it, headlines sell. Just try and be objective and present the whole story.

        Its interesting how you play the “widely brush woman with steroetypical attributes” card, yet all the response and points in this area paint men with the same stereotypical brush. Indeed the very statement “woman are paid less than men” is a gross stereotypical generalization of the issue.

        You said “(despite the fact that research suggesting sex and race can determine brackets such as IQ are absurd to say the least, something which he seems to think is real too)”

        Genetic make up of individuals is almost entirely what influences IQ. This does not mean because you are X race and X gender you will have X IQ. It simply means that claims that we are all the same are simply not true. And more importantly the equality of outcome is NOT a realistic thing. The studies and fact about this have been unchanged on this issue since the 70’s. Do some research on this, because based on your statements you are just believing the rhetoric on this subject, not the facts.

        “But the sort of data he wants to impose on this is just gross and flawed. It borders on the sort of studies that used to suggest one race was better than a another based on “science”.”

        I assume you are referring to the bell curve. Go actually read the bell curve, it makes no claims that one race is better than another. It simple shows the statistical variations between the races. Once again, don’t listen to what you been told about this stuff, go and find out for yourself.

        We need to impose the data on all of these things. Woman are paid less. But the very tricky reasons why are important to look at. A blanket statement of woman are paid less than men does nothing but inflame a situation, nor does it tell us what is actually going on. Go look at the stats, woman are very under represented in the STEM areas, but totally over represented in the humanities and social sciences. And in those area’s they are paid way more on average than their male counter parts. Yet we don’t see any calls for more men in those fields do we.

        Once we account for all of this we see that indeed there still is a small difference in pay between men and woman, about 3%. This needs to be addressed going forward. There is still rampant sexism in the STEM fields with female engineers being treated as tea ladies. This also needs to be addressed. Funnily enough though there is new research that shows men being discriminated against in the humanities, being told things like “men are not compassionate enough”.

        This is very much a two way street. Report on it as such is all that i ask.

        • Alessandro Barbosa

          Appreciate the lengthy response, but I feel the need to clarify just a few points which either I didn’t eloquently express properly or your mis-interpreted.

          “Genetic make up of individuals is almost entirely what influences IQ.” – of course, no argument there. We are not all born equal with the same capacities for mental growth. Instead I was referring to the idea that your gender and race mean you fall within a specified bracket of possibilities, which I inferred as implied in the manifesto.

          “I assume you are referring to the bell curve” – I wasn’t really, but even this is a good example of what I was really trying to say. This statistical way of just looking at a spread again ignores several key social aspects. Aspects like previously disadvantaged backgrounds, or the amount of time a specific gender has been given the ability to grow within a specific field. I mean let’s not forget we’re not even 60 years detached from an age of thinking where women were secretaries, nurse and mothers and men were the breadwinners, directors and doctors for the majority. Social implications from that still have ramifications given recent generations, and as such still have an influence on data. This is why diversity programs exist in part – to help alleviate the time required to break down previously established norms.

          Looking simply at data and letting current trends dictate the future would be no different from looking at the majority of striving business just a few years after the fall of Apartheid, and determining that only white people knew how to run them given their majority stake in larger, more successful corporations. If you allow me to use such a diluted example.

          The crux of my issue with the manifesto lies with this mostly. Sure, he brings up points that are make a compelling argument but simply looking at current data and trends but ignores the social factors that influence them at their core.

          irrespective, I feel we have differing views of the omprotance of different aspects to this, and I do agree there is not one sided “good” appraoch to it all. But I will say that it is refreshing to have a fairly level-headed discussion on this with you, so thanks for that 🙂

          • Quentin Huggett

            Thanks for the reply man and keeping it civil. Rare in these days of internet trolling.

            “Instead I was referring to the idea that your gender and race mean you fall within a specified bracket of possibilities, which I inferred as implied in the manifesto”

            I didn’t get that at all. But in re-reading it i see how you that could be inferred. Even so from the rest of it i don’t think that is his intention, although it may be.

            I wont comment more on the bell curve. I a really suggest you give it a read, or at the very least watch sam haris pod cast on it on youtube. Well worth it.

            Social factors should be influenced by the data, and not the other way around. I don’t think he is ignoring them at all. He is highlighting that there are many other factors too this.

            I guess this comes down to what you value more, and what weight you ascribe things in relation.

            The value of the group a person belongs too means nothing to me. The value that the individual brings is of far more importance.
            Placing a person into a group and then ascribing what value they do or don’t deserve is called discrimination. The fact we call some these forms of discrimination by fancy names does not change the fact that it is discrimination.

            We cannot achieve equality of opportunity by removing or prioritizing one group of peoples rights above another. i.E we cannot fix discrimination by discriminating.

            Thanks for the discussion.

  • Yeah … staying away from this one.

    • Magoo

      ..he says in the comment section. 😛

    • MonsterCheddar

      Indeed.

  • Skittle

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

  • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

    So we have a crybaby crying about a company trying to placate the other crybabies.

    Give that man a dummy!

    I’m gonna pour myself a shot of Bells, like a real man.

    /satire

  • BakedBagel

    ayo 1 man, writes that he doesn’t agree with the current stance of google.

    All the journo’s lose their minds simply because he doesnt conform.

    Lmao stay mad

  • Conan the Barbarian

    Topic for a Friday debate thread:
    If women really did the same work for less pay, wouldn’t a company only employing women be at a big advantage?
    Someone should get on that.

  • Chuckles von Clausewitz III

    Clearly, Winter is coming?

    Honestly though, the amount of hysteria generated (because of a Google-insider’s anti-diversity manifesto) is hilarious. You would think that progressive-minded folk would be keen to have more diversity in opinion rather than everyone following the party line.

    I guess not…

Check Also

Razer’s new Atheris is the real Adaptive Frequency mouse you want

Razer's expensive Lancehead mouse might have been a bridge too far, but the Atheris packs …