A Google employee was fired by Google earlier this week over a viral memo that landed him in hot water. 28-year old James Damore, who was an engineer at Google, had said Google’s products “lack of ideological diversity.”
In an interview with Bloomberg Television on Wednesday, Damore said he was fired for allegedly “perpetuating gender stereotypes.”
“I support diversity and inclusion, and I think that also our lack of ideological diversity has hurt our products,” said Damore.
In his memo, Damore wrote, “Women, on average, have more openness directed towards feelings and aesthetics rather than ideas. Women generally also have a stronger interest in people rather than things, relative to men (also interpreted as empathizing vs. systemizing).”
He also argued that, “neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance)” could be a factor in “the lower number of women in high stress jobs.”
The Guardian has revealed that in the wake of Damore’s memo, over 60 employees, all female, are considering bringing class-action lawsuits against Google allegeding sexism and pay inequality.
Google Vice President Danielle Browne alleged that the document “advanced incorrect assumptions about gender” and that Damore’s memo is “not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages.”
In his defense, Damore has said, “I’m not saying that all men are different than all women, just that there’s a distribution of these personality traits, and that distribution differs between men and women. So, there a lot of capable men and women at Google and I’m not trying to say that any of them are any worse than an average male engineer at Google.”
Damore said he was betrayed when he was let go. He said in his interview with Bloomgberg Television, “I’m definitely hurt, I love Google and I’ve always been a fan of Google even before I joined, and so it really feels like they betrayed me in some way.”
“Because the whole point of my memo was actually to improve Google, and improve Google’s culture. And they just punished me and shamed me for doing it.”
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