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Google CEO Cuts Vacation Short To Deal With Crisis Over Diversity Memo

Google CEO Cuts Vacation Short To Deal With Crisis Over Diversity Memo

The dismissal of a Google engineer over a memo defending the Silicon Valley gender gap has fanned the flames of a simmering debate in the tech sector over sexism, free expression and political correctness.

A former Google engineer who was sacked over a memo he wrote about gender differences says he's exploring all his legal options and has already filed a labour complaint over his treatment.

Damore said he was exploring all possible legal remedies, and that before being fired, he had submitted a charge to the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) accusing Google upper management of trying to shame him into silence. His title at Google was software engineer and he had worked at the company since December 2013, according to a profile on LinkedIn. That outcome could galvanize any backlash against Alphabet's ongoing efforts to make its workforce more diverse.

It's also worth noting that Assange has a history with Google. Uber Technologies Inc. Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick lost his job in June amid scandals over sexual harassment, discrimination and an aggressive culture. He also asserted that women are underrepresented in the top tiers of leadership due to their own preferences, not discrimination. In an email to employees explaining the reaction to Mr Damore's actions, Google CEO Sundar Pinchai - who is said to have returned from a vacation to deal with the matter - backed the rights of employees to "express themselves" but said Mr Damore's comments breached the company's code of conduct and "cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace". He didn't say if the company was taking action against the employee.

Bernice Ledbetter, who teaches leadership to business students at Pepperdine University, praised Google for taking decisive action.

But a company can fire an employee for violating policy even if his or her speech is protected, Meyer said.

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After the controversy swelled, Danielle Brown, Google's new vice president for diversity, integrity and governance, sent a statement to staff condemning Damore's views and reaffirmed the company's stance on diversity. Bloomberg reports that he did not confirm in the memo whether or not Damore would be fired.

Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate. And the USA labor department is looking into salaries and saying that Google is paying women less than men.

It also called on Google to "stop alienating conservatives" and called into question practices like "unconscious bias" training for committees that promote employees.

"People are entitled to their opinions, but it certainly doesn't reflect, I think, what we know about women in IT and the advantages that come from a more inclusive work environment", Pitt said.

In her initial response to the memo, Brown, who joined from Intel Corp.in June, suggested that Google was open to all hosting "difficult political views", including those in the memo.


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