Predictable and just too, too, ironic

Google on Monday fired a software engineer who wrote an internal memo that questioned the company’s diversity efforts and argued that the low number of women in technical positions was a result of biological differences instead of discrimination.

The memo, called “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” angered many in Silicon Valley because it relied on certain gender stereotypes — like the notion that women are less interested in high-stress jobs because they are more anxious — to rationalize the gender gap in the tech industry. The memo quickly spread outside the company, as other Google employees railed against many of its assumptions.

In a companywide email, Google’s chief executive, Sundar Pichai, said portions of the memo had violated the company’s code of conduct and crossed the line “by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”

32 thoughts on “Predictable and just too, too, ironic”

  1. Bloke in Costa Rica

    I’m not a big fan of antitrust legislation but it would be absolutely fucking hilarious if Google got broken up.

    I wonder if they realise how this looks to ordinary people. It’s like mad ragheads telling you not to say Islam is a violent religion or they’ll kill you.

  2. He should have been fired too. Anyone ignorant enough to write a scientifically illiterate screed like that doesn’t deserve a job in large scale engineering.

  3. Matthew L–The report seems weak–indeed the leftist wanker talks about how he values “diversity”.

    He is also entirely correct that the majority of women prefer jobs where bullshit is the currency rather than originality or brain sweat. Of course they can’t always get such a job but they gravitate to towards them.

    So as ever its you who are talking tripe. The Googlegang need to be broken up. Indeed all the big 4 are left-suckers and action is needed to end their nice cozy relationships with the poisonous state.

  4. What I found amusing about the text was the whole thing about women being consensual, working together etc. My sister has consistently worked in female-dominated environments and the backbiting, politicing and bitch fighting is astonishing. In Every Single Case.

  5. In any case, what’s next? Effective conscription of women into STEM subjects at University? YOU WILL BE AN ENGINEER. “But I don’t want to”. THAT’S JUST THE PATRIARCHY TALKING! SOLVE THIS DIFFERENTIAL EQUATION!

  6. Further to last – I *hated* solving differential equations. And I *wanted* to be an engineer. I can’t imagine how someone who *didn’t* want to be there and had been forced into it for political reasons would feel about it.

    Actually, yes I can. It would be something along the lines of “F*ck this sh1t”….

  7. Anyone ignorant enough to write a scientifically illiterate screed like that doesn’t deserve a job in large scale engineering.

    Which is presumably why he’s at Google.

  8. I sneeze in threes

    Jordon Peterson defended the science of “the screed” (isn’t that some base layer of concrete?)

  9. @cjcjc. Very useful link. Thanks.

    There was also a documentary made about male/female working preference by a Scandinavian woman that is on YouTube. It interviews social science profs who bulkshit about no gender differences then also interviews world class profs of psychology and genetics who laugh, ues actually laugh, when the social “scientist” claims are shown to them. The documentary directly addresses the points about preference and highlights pretty much what the Google engineer highlights.

    This is scandalous but one hopes the engineer has a big big payoff.

  10. Can he sue for wrongful dismissal? He is, after all, entirely right.

    Thought experiment: what if the screed turned out to have been written by a woman? Or even a woman of colour? Would she have been fired?

  11. I’ve been waiting for this moment. Happens to all tech corporations. They move from being a company focussed on ideas and innovation and just become an orthodox bureaucracy.

    The firing memo https://www.blog.google/topics/diversity/note-employees-ceo-sundar-pichai/ is a disgrace. Google wants ideas to be expressed, but you can’t talk about women suffering from higher anxiety even though there are solid statistics showing that women suffer anxiety at a far higher level than men.

  12. I hope he sues – as Instapundit notes, the discovery process will be very enlightening and probably won’t show google in a good light outside of the bubble.

    He can then bring into evidence the corpus of behavioural psychology, and claim he was fired for being scientifically mostly correct, but for expressing something that offends the ruling ideology.

  13. Hey, it’s almost like hiring (less of that please. My gaff, my rules) because they’re cheap compared to a competent, self-confident white engineer isn’t actually the smartest idea. Who. Would. Have. Thought?

  14. The standard response from a lot of the women in tech commenting under the piece Matthew L posted is “I’m super high up on the (female) bell curve, which also puts me high up on the overall bellcurve higher than most males, therefore the bellcurve doesn’t exist because PATRIARCHY.

    Should have paid more attention in statistics and less attention in Angry Studies.

    And Western civilisation was doing so well…

  15. Bloke in North Dorset

    From cjcjc’s link:

    “3. Google has, perhaps unintentionally, created an authoritarian atmosphere that has stifled discussion of these issues by stigmatizing anyone who disagrees as a bigot and instituted authoritarian policies of reverse discrimination; ”

    Its not just Google and I’m not convinced its unintentional.

    Labour turned it in to a science until Brown let the cat out of the bag with his bigot comment about “that woman”.

  16. abacab said: “In any case, what’s next? Effective conscription of women into STEM subjects at University? ”

    No. Hand waving and a lowering of standards. eg there are campaigners pushing STEAM where the A stands for Art, which I’m guessing is because STEM hasn’t been the success they hoped it would be.

  17. @Gareth, that’s the typical American attitude of conflating a marker with a result. See: e.g. “people with college degrees are typically prosperous, so if everyone has a college degree they’ll be prosperous”.

    STEM is just a convenient shorthand for “numerate, analytical scientific fields”. Adding “arts” doesn’t make “art” a numerate, analytical scientific field any more than claiming a duck is actually a tiger makes it one.

    I really detest this denial of reality.

  18. abacab: I think the point is that the ‘success’ that has failed to eventuate is not actual success- which is what men with STEM degrees have achieved, when they aren’t being undermined by broads and ignorant foreigners for a tenth of the money- but success in the eyes of reds (i.e. women being given money by governments or monopolies for doing nothing useful).

  19. “He should have been fired too. Anyone ignorant enough to write a scientifically illiterate screed like that doesn’t deserve a job in large scale engineering.”

    That’ll be the illiterate screed that people working in the scientific field of gender differences have agreed has the science pretty much right then.

  20. I found I ran into the maths brick wall with ODEs in 1st year maths on my electronics degree. I never did get properly into Electromagnetic Theory – still don’t really get divs & curls. Of course it never stopped me in my career.

  21. abacab,

    “@Gareth, that’s the typical American attitude of conflating a marker with a result. See: e.g. “people with college degrees are typically prosperous, so if everyone has a college degree they’ll be prosperous”.”

    One of the reasons that men do well in computing is precisely that there are bootstrappy ways to get into it.

    The stuff that women get into is stuffed full of bureaucratic rules and regulations like law and medicine. They probably don’t need those rules. It’s the whole thing about college today and this problem of things like Title IX in America. It’s all about finding any excuse at all to kick men out of colleges.

    But you can’t dodge reality. I am certain there’s going to be a push for, maybe even targets for more women to get Comp Sci degrees. And colleges will fuck with the courses even more than they do already. And we’ll reject people at interview stage because they can’t write code.

  22. Tractor Gent: Of course it never stopped me in my career.

    Presumably an HGV licence is the essential qualification for a tractor gent.

  23. It looks to me that he wasn’t using gender sterotypes, he was using gender observations. A stereotype is a group-based assumption in the absense of information, he used actual observation-based information on gender diffrences.

  24. Paul Rain,

    Yes that’s the way I meant it. STEM as a policy is not successful enough for some so they are pushing for Art to be added to the bandwagon. Widening the scope of the campaign rather than admit defeat.

    abacab,

    ‘denial of reality’ is a good way of putting it. If all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail. If you deny reality then everything looks problematic. ‘Men and women are equal’ leads to ‘women are underrepresented in STEM’ which reinforces the gender pay gap because earning potential is higher with STEM degrees.

    Perhaps Art intruding on STEM is reality finally getting a look in. I’m guessing Art is more popular with women than STEM subjects are and leads to lower earning potential too. Women are making different choices to men in aggregate and the campaigners have responded to it, and in a way that avoids having to admit they were wrong.

  25. “But you can’t dodge reality. I am certain there’s going to be a push for, maybe even targets for more women to get Comp Sci degrees. And colleges will fuck with the courses even more than they do already. And we’ll reject people at interview stage because they can’t write code.”

    Oh, but you can dodge reality. For quite a long time. Right up until the buildings start falling over because the architect wasn’t too hot on maths, or the plane drops out of the air because of some unnoticed software bug etc etc. Look at Grenfell – there’s been a whole bundle of dodging reality there, 80 odd people have died and still reality is being ignored.

    To be honest I don’t even think those sort of things occurring would make people sit up and think ‘You know what we really need to have is an education system that is rigorous and to employ people in jobs based on ability not some notion of equality’. It would all still be the fault of some old white man somewhere that a bunch of wonderfully ‘diverse’ (but completely clueless) employees had fucked up royally.

  26. Bloke in Costa Rica

    My go-to was the Schaum’s Outline on Vector Calc. Got me through 2nd year physics with my best mark in that course.

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