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Fired Google memo writer, draws derision, applaud, and offer from wikileaks

11 August 2017, 12:40 | Melanie Burgess

Dozens Of Female Employees Accuse Google Of Gender Discrimination

Google discrimination

A controversial anti-diversity memo written by a now-fired Google employee isn't just sending shockwaves across the search giant's Silicon Valley campus - it's setting off alarms in the U.S. Congress, too.

Google declined to comment on the planned protest.

- The Google campus on Thursday morning was buzzing with activity ahead of the "town hall" meeting to be hosted by Google's CEO.

Michael Willemin, a plaintiff's lawyer with employment firm Wigdor, also said Damore would have a hard time bringing a retaliation claim based on the idea that his memo constituted a complaint about discrimination against men.

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The memo can be considered a slap on the face of all the efforts that the Silicon Valley is putting in place to tackle accusations of sexism and discrimination. Of 440 Google employees who responded to a Blind survey on Tuesday and Wednesday, 56% said they disagreed with Google's decision to fire Mr. Damore. James Damore, 28, tells Bloomberg his 3,300-word memo-blasting "unfair" diversity policies on the basis that biological and psychological differences with men make women ill-suited for tech jobs-had been circulating at Google for a month before he was contacted by superiors.

While the engineer's views were broadly and publicly criticized online, they echo the 2005 statements by then-Harvard President Lawrence Summers, who said the reason there are fewer female scientists at top universities is in part due to "innate" gender differences. The woman had posted a question "that had something to do with gender", Damore said. Less than a third of Google's global employees are women and the number is much lower in its tech and management divisions.

To that end, other US lawmakers - including powerful groups like the Congressional Black Caucus - have pressed Google and its tech industry counterparts to get them to change their hiring and management practices. A string sexual harassment suits at other tech companies including Uber has only fanned the flames. She added that a male employee had joined her team with a higher salary than her, despite her being his superior in the company.



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