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Google 'Anti-Diversity' memo sparks controversy

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A memo spread internally at Google has sparked debate after questioning the company’s diversity policies.

Credit: Recode

The memo, entitled ‘Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber’, was written by a male employee at the company and suggests that “biological differences” in men and women determine the “distribution of preferences and abilities” in relation to careers. He then linked this to why there is not equal representation of women in tech and leadership.

The author went on to state that while men have a “higher driver for status” and as a result take up the majority of leadership positions, women in contrast “relatively prefer jobs in social or artistic areas” due to a “stronger interest in people”.

Women are also said to be more agreeable and therefore have “a harder time negotiating salary, asking for raises, speaking up, and leading.”

The point of the memo was to outline the problems with Google’s current diversity initiatives that are striving to see more women in tech positions.

Google’s new Vice President of Diversity, Integrity and Governance, Danielle Brown, promptly responded to the memo assuring people that this was not a representation of either her or the company’s views.

She wrote, in an internal email, that “Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate.”

This comes at a time when tech companies are coming under increasing scrutiny for their measures set to tackle diversity in the workplace, particularly with regards to gender. Recent statistics show that women only fill 25% of leadership roles at Google and fewer than 20% are in technical jobs such as coding.

However, companies including Netflix and Buffer have made strides along with Google to address the diversity issues present in Silicon Valley.

The full memo, 'Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber', can be read by clicking here.

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