Exclusive: Here's The Full 10-Page Anti-Diversity Screed Circulating Internally At Google

A software engineer's 10-page screed against Google's diversity initiatives is going viral inside the company, being shared on an internal meme network and Google+. The document's existence was first reported by Motherboard and Gizmodo has obtained it in full.

Photo: AP

Update: The Googler in question has been fired:

Google Reportedly Fires Author Of Anti-Diversity Manifesto

The Google software engineer who authored a 10-page anti-diversity manifesto may be fired, a memo CEO Sundar Pichai sent to employees suggests. Pichai's statement, obtained by Recode, notes that "portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace".

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Update 10:00am AEST: Google’s new Vice President of Diversity, Integrity & Governance Danielle Brown has issued her own memo to Google employees in response to the now-viral memo, “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.” Brown’s statement, obtained by Motherboard, can be found in full at the end of this article.

In the memo, which is the personal opinion of a male Google employee and is titled "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber", the author argues that women are underrepresented in tech not because they face bias and discrimination in the workplace, but because of inherent psychological differences between men and women.

"We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism", he writes, going on to argue that Google's educational programs for young women may be misguided.

The post comes as Google battles a wage discrimination investigation by the US Department of Labour, which has found that Google routinely pays women less than men in comparable roles.

Gizmodo has reached out to Google for comment on the memo and how the company is addressing employee concerns regarding its content. We will update this article if we hear back.

The text of the post is reproduced in full below, with some minor formatting modifications. Two charts and several hyperlinks are also omitted.


Reply to public response and misrepresentation

I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don't endorse using stereotypes. When addressing the gap in representation in the population, we need to look at population level differences in distributions. If we can't have an honest discussion about this, then we can never truly solve the problem. Psychological safety is built on mutual respect and acceptance, but unfortunately our culture of shaming and misrepresentation is disrespectful and unaccepting of anyone outside its echo chamber. Despite what the public response seems to have been, I've gotten many personal messages from fellow Googlers expressing their gratitude for bringing up these very important issues which they agree with but would never have the courage to say or defend because of our shaming culture and the possibility of being fired. This needs to change.

TL:DR

  • Google's political bias has equated the freedom from offence with psychological safety, but shaming into silence is the antithesis of psychological safety.
  • This silencing has created an ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too sacred to be honestly discussed.
  • The lack of discussion fosters the most extreme and authoritarian elements of this ideology.
  • Extreme: all disparities in representation are due to oppression
  • Authoritarian: we should discriminate to correct for this oppression
  • Differences in distributions of traits between men and women may in part explain why we don't have 50% representation of women in tech and leadership. Discrimination to reach equal representation is unfair, divisive, and bad for business.

Background [1]

People generally have good intentions, but we all have biases which are invisible to us. Thankfully, open and honest discussion with those who disagree can highlight our blind spots and help us grow, which is why I wrote this document.[2] Google has several biases and honest discussion about these biases is being silenced by the dominant ideology. What follows is by no means the complete story, but it's a perspective that desperately needs to be told at Google.

Google's biases

At Google, we talk so much about unconscious bias as it applies to race and gender, but we rarely discuss our moral biases. Political orientation is actually a result of deep moral preferences and thus biases. Considering that the overwhelming majority of the social sciences, media, and Google lean left, we should critically examine these prejudices.

Left Biases

  • Compassion for the weak
  • Disparities are due to injustices
  • Humans are inherently cooperative
  • Change is good (unstable)
  • Open
  • Idealist

Right Biases

  • Respect for the strong/authority
  • Disparities are natural and just
  • Humans are inherently competitive
  • Change is dangerous (stable)
  • Closed
  • Pragmatic

Neither side is 100% correct and both viewpoints are necessary for a functioning society or, in this case, company. A company too far to the right may be slow to react, overly hierarchical, and untrusting of others. In contrast, a company too far to the left will constantly be changing (deprecating much loved services), over diversify its interests (ignoring or being ashamed of its core business), and overly trust its employees and competitors.

Only facts and reason can shed light on these biases, but when it comes to diversity and inclusion, Google's left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence. This silence removes any checks against encroaching extremist and authoritarian policies. For the rest of this document, I'll concentrate on the extreme stance that all differences in outcome are due to differential treatment and the authoritarian element that's required to actually discriminate to create equal representation.

Possible non-bias causes of the gender gap in tech [3]

At Google, we're regularly told that implicit (unconscious) and explicit biases are holding women back in tech and leadership. Of course, men and women experience bias, tech, and the workplace differently and we should be cognisant of this, but it's far from the whole story.

On average, men and women biologically differ in many ways. These differences aren't just socially constructed because:

  • They're universal across human cultures
  • They often have clear biological causes and links to prenatal testosterone
  • Biological males that were castrated at birth and raised as females often still identify and act like males
  • The underlying traits are highly heritable
  • They're exactly what we would predict from an evolutionary psychology perspective

Note, I'm not saying that all men differ from women in the following ways or that these differences are "just." I'm simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don't see equal representation of women in tech and leadership. Many of these differences are small and there's significant overlap between men and women, so you can't say anything about an individual given these population level distributions.

Personality differences

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).
  • These two differences in part explain why women relatively prefer jobs in social or artistic areas. More men may like coding because it requires systemizing and even within SWEs, comparatively more women work on front end, which deals with both people and aesthetics.
  • Extraversion expressed as gregariousness rather than assertiveness. Also, higher agreeableness.
  • This leads to women generally having a harder time negotiating salary, asking for raises, speaking up, and leading. Note that these are just average differences and there's overlap between men and women, but this is seen solely as a women's issue. This leads to exclusory programs like Stretch and swaths of men without support.
  • Neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance).This may contribute to the higher levels of anxiety women report on Googlegeist and to the lower number of women in high stress jobs.

Note that contrary to what a social constructionist would argue, research suggests that "greater nation-level gender equality leads to psychological dissimilarity in men's and women's personality traits." Because as "society becomes more prosperous and more egalitarian, innate dispositional differences between men and women have more space to develop and the gap that exists between men and women in their personality becomes wider." We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism.

Men's higher drive for status

We always ask why we don't see women in top leadership positions, but we never ask why we see so many men in these jobs. These positions often require long, stressful hours that may not be worth it if you want a balanced and fulfilling life.

Status is the primary metric that men are judged on[4], pushing many men into these higher paying, less satisfying jobs for the status that they entail. Note, the same forces that lead men into high pay/high stress jobs in tech and leadership cause men to take undesirable and dangerous jobs like coal mining, garbage collection, and firefighting, and suffer 93% of work-related deaths.

Non-discriminatory ways to reduce the gender gap

Below I'll go over some of the differences in distribution of traits between men and women that I outlined in the previous section and suggest ways to address them to increase women's representation in tech and without resorting to discrimination. Google is already making strides in many of these areas, but I think it's still instructive to list them:

  • Women on average show a higher interest in people and men in things
  • We can make software engineering more people-oriented with pair programming and more collaboration. Unfortunately, there may be limits to how people-oriented certain roles and Google can be and we shouldn't deceive ourselves or students into thinking otherwise (some of our programs to get female students into coding might be doing this).
  • Women on average are more cooperative
  • Allow those exhibiting cooperative behaviour to thrive. Recent updates to Perf may be doing this to an extent, but maybe there's more we can do. This doesn't mean that we should remove all competitiveness from Google. Competitiveness and self reliance can be valuable traits and we shouldn't necessarily disadvantage those that have them, like what's been done in education. Women on average are more prone to anxiety. Make tech and leadership less stressful. Google already partly does this with its many stress reduction courses and benefits.
  • Women on average look for more work-life balance while men have a higher drive for status on average
  • Unfortunately, as long as tech and leadership remain high status, lucrative careers, men may disproportionately want to be in them. Allowing and truly endorsing (as part of our culture) part time work though can keep more women in tech.
  • The male gender role is currently inflexible
  • Feminism has made great progress in freeing women from the female gender role, but men are still very much tied to the male gender role. If we, as a society, allow men to be more "feminine," then the gender gap will shrink, although probably because men will leave tech and leadership for traditionally feminine roles.

Philosophically, I don't think we should do arbitrary social engineering of tech just to make it appealing to equal portions of both men and women. For each of these changes, we need principles reasons for why it helps Google; that is, we should be optimising for Google -- with Google's diversity being a component of that. For example currently those trying to work extra hours or take extra stress will inevitably get ahead and if we try to change that too much, it may have disastrous consequences. Also, when considering the costs and benefits, we should keep in mind that Google's funding is finite so its allocation is more zero-sum than is generally acknowledged.

The Harm of Google's biases

I strongly believe in gender and racial diversity, and I think we should strive for more. However, to achieve a more equal gender and race representation, Google has created several discriminatory practices:

  • Programs, mentoring, and classes only for people with a certain gender or race [5]
  • A high priority queue and special treatment for "diversity" candidates
  • Hiring practices which can effectively lower the bar for "diversity" candidates by decreasing the false negative rate
  • Reconsidering any set of people if it's not "diverse" enough, but not showing that same scrutiny in the reverse direction (clear confirmation bias)
  • Setting org level OKRs for increased representation which can incentivise illegal discrimination [6]

These practices are based on false assumptions generated by our biases and can actually increase race and gender tensions. We're told by senior leadership that what we're doing is both the morally and economically correct thing to do, but without evidence this is just veiled left ideology[7] that can irreparably harm Google.

Why we're blind

We all have biases and use motivated reasoning to dismiss ideas that run counter to our internal values. Just as some on the Right deny science that runs counter to the "God > humans > environment" hierarchy (e.g., evolution and climate change) the Left tends to deny science concerning biological differences between people (e.g., IQ[8] and sex differences). Thankfully, climate scientists and evolutionary biologists generally aren't on the right. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of humanities and social scientists learn left (about 95%), which creates enormous confirmation bias, changes what's being studied, and maintains myths like social constructionism and the gender wage gap[9]. Google's left leaning makes us blind to this bias and uncritical of its results, which we're using to justify highly politicized programs.

In addition to the Left's affinity for those it sees as weak, humans are generally biased towards protecting females. As mentioned before, this likely evolved because males are biologically disposable and because women are generally more cooperative and areeable than men. We have extensive government and Google programs, fields of study, and legal and social norms to protect women, but when a man complains about a gender issue issue [sic] affecting men, he's labelled as a misogynist and whiner[10]. Nearly every difference between men and women is interpreted as a form of women's oppression. As with many things in life, gender differences are often a case of "grass being greener on the other side"; unfortunately, taxpayer and Google money is spent to water only one side of the lawn.

The same compassion for those seen as weak creates political correctness[11], which constrains discourse and is complacent to the extremely sensitive PC-authoritarians that use violence and shaming to advance their cause. While Google hasn't harbored the violent leftists protests that we're seeing at universities, the frequent shaming in TGIF and in our culture has created the same silence, psychologically unsafe environment.

Suggestions

I hope it's clear that I'm not saying that diversity is bad, that Google or society is 100% fair, that we shouldn't try to correct for existing biases, or that minorities have the same experience of those in the majority. My larger point is that we have an intolerance for ideas and evidence that don't fit a certain ideology. I'm also not saying that we should restrict people to certain gender roles; I'm advocating for quite the opposite: treat people as individuals, not as just another member of their group (tribalism).

My concrete suggestions are to:

De-moralize diversity.

  • As soon as we start to moralize an issue, we stop thinking about it in terms of costs and benefits, dismiss anyone that disagrees as immoral, and harshly punish those we see as villains to protect the "victims."

Stop alienating conservatives.

  • Viewpoint diversity is arguably the most important type of diversity and political orientation is one of the most fundamental and significant ways in which people view things differently.
  • In highly progressive environments, conservatives are a minority that feel like they need to stay in the closet to avoid open hostility. We should empower those with different ideologies to be able to express themselves.
  • Alienating conservatives is both non-inclusive and generally bad business because conservatives tend to be higher in conscientiousness, which is require for much of the drudgery and maintenance work characteristic of a mature company.

Confront Google's biases.

  • I've mostly concentrated on how our biases cloud our thinking about diversity and inclusion, but our moral biases are farther reaching than that.
  • I would start by breaking down Googlegeist scores by political orientation and personality to give a fuller picture into how our biases are affecting our culture.

Stop restricting programs and classes to certain genders or races.

  • These discriminatory practices are both unfair and divisive. Instead focus on some of the non-discriminatory practices I outlined.

Have an open and honest discussion about the costs and benefits of our diversity programs.

  • Discriminating just to increase the representation of women in tech is as misguided and biased as mandating increases for women's representation in the homeless, work-related and violent deaths, prisons, and school dropouts.
  • There's currently very little transparency into the extend of our diversity programs which keeps it immune to criticism from those outside its ideological echo chamber.
  • These programs are highly politicized which further alienates non-progressives.
  • I realise that some of our programs may be precautions against government accusations of discrimination, but that can easily backfire since they incentivise illegal discrimination.

Focus on psychological safety, not just race/gender diversity.

  • We should focus on psychological safety, which has shown positive effects and should (hopefully) not lead to unfair discrimination.
  • We need psychological safety and shared values to gain the benefits of diversity
  • Having representative viewpoints is important for those designing and testing our products, but the benefits are less clear for those more removed from UX.

De-emphasise empathy.

  • I've heard several calls for increased empathy on diversity issues. While I strongly support trying to understand how and why people think the way they do, relying on affective empathy -- feeling another's pain -- causes us to focus on anecdotes, favour individuals similar to us, and harbour other irrational and dangerous biases. Being emotionally unengaged helps us better reason about the facts.

Prioritise intention.

  • Our focus on microaggressions and other unintentional transgressions increases our sensitivity, which is not universally positive: sensitivity increases both our tendency to take offence and our self censorship, leading to authoritarian policies. Speaking up without the fear of being harshly judged is central to psychological safety, but these practices can remove that safety by judging unintentional transgressions.
  • Microaggression training incorrectly and dangerously equates speech with violence and isn't backed by evidence.

Be open about the science of human nature.

  • Once we acknowledge that not all differences are socially constructed or due to discrimination, we open our eyes to a more accurate view of the human condition which is necessary if we actually want to solve problems.

Reconsider making Unconscious Bias training mandatory for promo committees.

  • We haven't been able to measure any effect of our Unconscious Bias training and it has the potential for overcorrecting or backlash, especially if made mandatory.
  • Some of the suggested methods of the current training (v2.3) are likely useful, but the political bias of the presentation is clear from the factual inaccuracies and the examples shown.
  • Spend more time on the many other types of biases besides stereotypes. Stereotypes are much more accurate and responsive to new information than the training suggests (I'm not advocating for using stereotypes, I [sic] just pointing out the factual inaccuracy of what's said in the training).

[1] This document is mostly written from the perspective of Google's Mountain View campus, I can't speak about other offices or countries.

[2] Of course, I may be biased and only see evidence that supports my viewpoint. In terms of political biases, I consider myself a classical liberal and strongly value individualism and reason. I'd be very happy to discuss any of the document further and provide more citations.

[3] Throughout the document, by "tech", I mostly mean software engineering.

[4] For heterosexual romantic relationships, men are more strongly judged by status and women by beauty. Again, this has biological origins and is culturally universal.

[5] Stretch, BOLD, CSSI, Engineering Practicum (to an extent), and several other Google funded internal and external programs are for people with a certain gender or race.

[6] Instead set Googlegeist OKRs, potentially for certain demographics. We can increase representation at an org level by either making it a better environment for certain groups (which would be seen in survey scores) or discriminating based on a protected status (which is illegal and I've seen it done). Increased representation OKRs can incentivise the latter and create zero-sum struggles between orgs.

[7] Communism promised to be both morally and economically superior to capitalism, but every attempt became morally corrupt and an economic failure. As it became clear that the working class of the liberal democracies wasn't going to overthrow their "capitalist oppressors," the Marxist intellectuals transitioned from class warfare to gender and race politics. The core oppressor-oppressed dynamics remained, but now the oppressor is the "white, straight, cis-gendered patriarchy."

[8] Ironically, IQ tests were initially championed by the Left when meritocracy meant helping the victims of the aristocracy.

[9] Yes, in a national aggregate, women have lower salaries than men for a variety of reasons. For the same work though, women get paid just as much as men. Considering women spend more money than men and that salary represents how much the employees sacrifices (e.g. more hours, stress, and danger), we really need to rethink our stereotypes around power.

[10] "The traditionalist system of gender does not deal well with the idea of men needing support. Men are expected to be strong, to not complain, and to deal with problems on their own. Men's problems are more often seen as personal failings rather than victimhood,, due to our gendered idea of agency. This discourages men from bringing attention to their issues (whether individual or group-wide issues), for fear of being seen as whiners, complainers, or weak."

[11] Political correctness is defined as "the avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against," which makes it clear why it's a phenomenon of the Left and a tool of authoritarians.

Update 10:00am AEST: Google’s new Vice President of Diversity, Integrity & Governance, Danielle Brown, issued the following statement in response to the internal employee memo:

Googlers,

I’m Danielle, Google’s brand new VP of Diversity, Integrity & Governance. I started just a couple of weeks ago, and I had hoped to take another week or so to get the lay of the land before introducing myself to you all. But given the heated debate we’ve seen over the past few days, I feel compelled to say a few words.

Many of you have read an internal document shared by someone in our engineering organization, expressing views on the natural abilities and characteristics of different genders, as well as whether one can speak freely of these things at Google. And like many of you, I found that it advanced incorrect assumptions about gender. I’m not going to link to it here as it’s not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages.

Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate. We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, and we’ll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul. As Ari Balogh said in his internal G+ post, "Building an open, inclusive environment is core to who we are, and the right thing to do. ‘Nuff said."

Google has taken a strong stand on this issue, by releasing its demographic data and creating a company wide OKR on diversity and inclusion. Strong stands elicit strong reactions. Changing a culture is hard, and it’s often uncomfortable. But I firmly believe Google is doing the right thing, and that’s why I took this job.

Part of building an open, inclusive environment means fostering a culture in which those with alternative views, including different political views, feel safe sharing their opinions. But that discourse needs to work alongside the principles of equal employment found in our Code of Conduct, policies, and anti-discrimination laws.

I’ve been in the industry for a long time, and I can tell you that I’ve never worked at a company that has so many platforms for employees to express themselves—TGIF, Memegen, internal G+, thousands of discussion groups. I know this conversation doesn’t end with my email today. I look forward to continuing to hear your thoughts as I settle in and meet with Googlers across the company.

Thanks,

Danielle

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Comments

    This person perhaps lacked sensitivity in the way he presented his arguments given the current social atmosphere and the "left-leaning" environment he finds himself in at Google. Not all he say is true nor absolute, but the author seems to make an effort to acknowledge this potential shortcoming. I do believe what he says about the ideological echo chamber is food for thought. Even if you don't agree with this person, we should all acknowledge its because of our own biases. It's less a matter of, "I'm right, you're wrong," and more a matter of owning up to the fact I made a decision to think a certain way given my values and political leanings. Diverse views are not necessarily an attack on our way of life - it's a legitimate (even if unsavoury) thought borne from a different set of circumstances and perspectives to my own. We as a collective society (and Google as a private company in this case) tend to choose to follow one side or the other. We can be proud of the decision we make and support it with fervour, but we have to always remember it may not always be that we were more morally correct, but simply that more people at this point in time chose to believe as we do.

      Sometimes there is a side that is more right no matter how you look at it. This is particularly true in cases of sexism and racism and so on. The current trend of "everything is up for debate and discussion" is frankly disturbing. For example if one was to turn on the morning show for breakfast and saw the hosts discussing "whether slavery is the answer to the modern economic issues" or "rape: maybe sometimes she did deserve it", one would certainly experience a minor cardiac arrest. I'd like to point out that both topics i bought up were highly accepted throughout history and still are in certain parts of the world.
      So as much as there is place for keeping an open mind, not being fanatical about your world views, there is also definitely a place is not giving an inch on issues, especially those concerned with the basic humanity of others.
      And that is what sexism and racism do, they attack the humanity of others. I'm not going to waste my time refuting every point in this manifesto, as many have already done so in great detail across the internet. But once again my point is there is some things, some view points, some behaviours that we should not give an inch to. And this manifesto represents that.
      Being decent and creating an atmosphere of deceny is not neither left leaning and hopefully not just a current social atmosphere. It is what we as humanity should strive for always.

        Completely agree. Not all viewpoints are equal and they should not be treated as such just to have 'debate'. I also think that we have to call out that a lot of people now are crying out against the 'injustice' of reverse discrimination, or sexism against males etc. These are real issues, but they are nowhere near the same level and as socially pervasive against regular old discrimination and sexism. To bring them to that level is ridiculous and further oppresses those already oppressed.

          "Completely agree. Not all viewpoints are equal and they should not be treated as such just to have 'debate'."

          Exactly. Just like Martin Luther King, Jr.

          What? That's not what you meant? Because I bet people back in the 1960s felt exactly that way--that King's ideas were not up for debate and should not be given equal time.

          Sorry, this is America. We may not like certain ideas, and I'd agree with you that they're repugnant, but everybody gets an equal voice. We would NOT be America if only popular voices were given a platform, and that's basically what you're calling for.

            Actually, this is Australia. You can tell by the *.au in the website name.

            And it seems to me that the writer of the manifesto has been given a platform. Indeed, he's gone viral--that's the opposite of censorship. No one's silenced him. To his detriment, I think.

            Martin Luther King did not rely on lies and errors of fact to push for the extension of basic human rights to African Americans. The people who wanted to deny him time and space to put forth his ideas believed (or acted) as though black people were deserving of an inferior social deal. They were not arguing in good faith.

            But yes, even wrong ideas get a platform. Sure. That's the First Amendment. What this guy doesn't get, however, is the right to have his errors and asinine conjectures treated as inviolable, or worthy of merit, when they are flawed, outdated and based on thoroughly debunked pseudo-science and sweeping, self-serving generalisations. Just as I should not have to accept "The Earth is Flat" in a debate about geography, or "the Earth is 5000 years old and was created in seven days" in a debate about the Big Bang Theory, I do not have to accept his silly justifications.

              Could those people who see their colleagues firstly in terms of their demographic rather than their abilities (or the contents of their characters) PLEASE stop invoking Martin Luther King.
              This may be uncomfortable for you to hear, but you really don't get what his "I have a dream" speech was about. Read it again.

              I'm sorry but that analogy leads me to believe you can debunk a lot of these questions and ideas quite handily, but you've literally done JACK to push your point. You can't just repeatedly shout WRONG WRONG WRONG and expect people to understand where you're coming from. Just where in this memo are the 'errors and asinine conjectures treated as inviolable, or worthy of merit, when they are flawed, outdated and based on thoroughly debunked pseudo-science and sweeping, self-serving generalisations'?

                The whole rant is based on extremely well known and outdated precepts of evolutionary biology, which misconstrue the realities and complexities of both biological and social gender, and which have been, for quite some time now, thoroughly debunked and repudiated, even by those who first proposed them. Anyone who uses these arguments seriously in the field these days is laughed out of the room. Not because of ideology or political correctness, but because they are up there with phrenology and the theory of the four humors as a scientific explanation. The entire idea of intrinsic links between biology and behaviour is something science has long since disproved. When I compare it to Flat Earth, or vaccines causing autism, I mean it.

                Just to be clear; I don't care whether you get where I'm coming from. Your ignorance of the genesis of the thoughts in the manifesto is your problem, not mine. A cursory google, or indeed a brief read of the many responses to this manifesto, will serve you better than any argument of mine. You demanding I personally engage with this bullshit, and waste my time proving the scientific equivalent of "the Earth is round" rather than fighting the effects of the guy who's standing there claiming it? Yeah, no. That's a tactic I've seen far too many times. It's like Malcolm Roberts daring Brian Cox to debate him, or gamergaters demanding Anita Sarkeesian debate them.

                  gender is fluid. people should stop trying to achieve a 50-50 balance in anything. If you identify as female gender, you are statistically less likely to be obsessed with programming and this statistic shows in the workplace distribution.

          At what point do they become as bad? I'm sure if you were the straight, white guy who got passed over for a job because of "positive" discrimination you'd be pretty upset about discrimination. Just like any other person who's been discriminated against.

          The discussion the guy seems to be wanting is that Google are creating discriminatory practices and legitimizing them by claiming they're for positive discrimination. And moreover, that anyone who tries to raise the issue risks demonization because their ideas are unpopular.

          I think this idea is reinforced by the fact people are discussing his ideas and then drawing parallels to rape, racism and slavery.

          Frankly, his statements breaks down to "we shouldn't have arbitrary quotas and that jobs should be decided on merit." Which is *not* a bad viewpoint. Rather than fixing the problem at the wrong end (putting a less qualified person into a job) the problem should be resolved at the root (ensuring that you create better qualified people to start with).

            I'm sure if you were the straight, white guy who got passed over for a job because of "positive" discrimination you'd be pretty upset about discrimination.

            The flip side of this is, how would you feel if you found out that the reason you got a job was because your dangly bits were on your chest not between your legs?

              da user - how do you justify ione form of discrimination over another? Which victim of discrimination is justly wronged? There should be no discrimination.

                Good call. That was exactly what I was getting at.

                  I don't think anyone wants to discriminate against people with dangly bits on their chest. The argument is whether or not you should discriminate against people with dangly bits between their legs because you think there should a higher number of people with dangly bits on their chests in the tech industry.

                It depends on if the current male dominated workforce exists because of merit or discrimination?

                If it's because of merit then yes, hiring women based on gender now is discrimination.

                If it's because female candidates were unfairly discriminated against in the past then any action taken now is more corrective than discriminatory in my opinion.

            The discussion the guy seems to be wanting is that Google are creating discriminatory practices and legitimizing them by claiming they're for positive discrimination. And moreover, that anyone who tries to raise the issue risks demonization because their ideas are unpopular.

            He perceives Google's existence through the prism of his own beliefs. Viz, It exists for the purpose of creating money and anything that detracts from that goal occurring in the most effective and efficient manner is necessarily incorrect. This includes any acknowledgement of humans as anything other than agents of productivity.

            If it had the capacity, the Capitalist ideal would agree with him. Unfortunately for him, he works at Google and they don't agree.

            The biggest problem he has is that he has argued extremely poorly. I'm surprised that someone with a tertiary education can promulgate an essay that provides little to no evidence nor reasonable argument as to why the current state of affairs is incorrect or why his purported solutions would be better. It is full of conjecture and contradiction and comes across as nothing more than an expression of his desire to have his seemingly baseless conservative views elevated.

            His TL;DR could've been:
            I am conservative male working in software development. There may be some valid arguments against the affirmative action policies and programmes at my workplace but rather than address them I will instead assert that people born with a Vagina are inherently less capable of doing my job. It's ok though, because we can fix this problem by adopting a more conservative view of the situation whereby we don't see a problem. Fixed.

              But that's not what he was saying, he repeated over and over that there are various problems affecting women. But not all of these problems are caused by the sexism of Google employees, and there are also problems affecting men. I don't see that either of those should be controversial.

              If we take as fact that "men, on average, are better that women at Maths", which of the following could be true?
              a) all men are better at maths than all women
              b) 49% of men are actually worse at maths than the average woman
              c) there are 10 men in every 100 who are worse at maths than every single woman
              Answer: any of these could be true. When someone says "women empathise more than men" it doesn't mean that this applies to all women and all men.

              I am the kind of man who is maybe more feminine than most. I don't want to get ahead in the business world, I prefer to stay at home with my children, I would be hopeless at asking my boss for a raise. If there was a company policy that tried to "positively discriminate" to correct for the fact that "woman are not so confident when it comes to negotiating a salary", I would be a bit miffed that unconfident men like myself couldn't also benefit.

              Maybe it's not because the bosses at Google are sexist that there aren't so many women working there. Maybe it's because women (and some men, like me) don't want to work there. Should we be "positively discriminating" to get more women into murdering, or into rape, or into child porn? Why not? Why do more men than women go into those areas?

        Your point at the end is in no way antithetical to the position expressed in this "manifesto". I would recommend rereading it more carefully, and with the willingness to offer nuance to those who disagree with you. I found everything contained in it to be thoughtful and well articulated. It was not racist or sexist at all in my estimation, and I'm at a complete loss as to how you read it in any detail and walked away with rape/slavery apologetics on your mind.

      "Women as a gender are not biologically capable of doing X" isn't a nuanced debating point any more than "people with black skin are biologically inferior to people with beige skin" is. It's not Left or Right; it's WRONG. Incorrect. In error. Not based on fact. Not legitimate. Actual bullshit.

      I do not have to tolerate the views of someone who automatically regards me (or anyone else) as inferior because of biology. I also have a perfect right to disregard phrenologists, flat-earthers, young-earth creationists and people who think vaccines cause autism. It's not about "the way he presented his arguments" -- it's about what those arguments are. There's no way to present what he was saying as anything other than discredited biologically deterministic pseudo-science which even the cultural anthropologists have moved on from.

      This idea that no matter how ill-informed and refuted someone's opinion is, we have to accept it as a point of debate is pernicious. Some people are wrong-with-a-capital-w, and treating them as though they aren't cheapens public discourse, debases language and perpetuates woolly-headed nonsense. This isn't about being morally correct, just good old regular correct.

        Women are biologically inferior in certain aspects. Just look at sport.

          Nobody is complaining about gender segregation in sport, your argument is a straw man. This issue is about a false justification of the gender pay gap.

          "biologically inferior in certain aspects". Unpacking that statement, I will ignore the "inferior" negative assertion, which is a matter of perspective. Women can't lift as much, throw a javelin as far, or run as fast on average, those things are true, on average, and at the elite levels. Again, as the author himself admitted, these are statistical averages. Serena Williams would destroy you at tennis, and probably most other sports, and it is statistically likely that so would a very large number of women.

          Back to the actual point which you have diverted from.
          Biological differences are not equatable with skills, ability and potential in tech or leadership. We no longer require the strongest, fastest, hairiest man with the biggest spear to protect the clan from saber-toothed tigers. Having a higher muscle density, or being more aggressive due to testosterone are not pre-requisite skills for solving equations or creating good software. When the saber-toothed tigers invade the Googleplex, then we can re-evaluate.

            "Biological differences are not equatable with skills, ability and potential in tech or leadership."

            Where is this published as fact? I'm not saying it's true or false, I don't have a source to say either way. While I'd be surprised if it was true, who knows? There are biological differences between men and women after all. How can someone discount that flowing into social skills / abilities / outcome differences when combined with current western cultural tendencies in some measure? Maybe biological differences do play some part in some way? Who knows???

              We're talking about the context of being appropriately employed in tech or leadership at Google, but we can extend that to companies generally if you like. Specifically, being good at programming related work, or management related work.

              A measure of potential ability could be taken at the end of high school, prior to entering the workforce. The skills measured are academic, not sports-based. Physical biological differences related to strength or maleness vs femaleness that are somewhat valid in sports are not relevant here.

              For example in NSW, the HSC results statistics show most subjects have first-in-course by girls. First-in-course mirrors the general distribution of performance between the genders. Therefore, being generally slower at running has not in any way affected these girls performance.

              http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/hsc-results-2015-girls-outperform-boys-in-traditionally-male-subjects-20151215-glnzhn.html

              In mathematics, as an example, there's roughly 50/50 in the top 26 students (I count 14, based on the school names and the first names, but names can be ambiguous), and 3/6 in the equal first position are definitely female (2 of those schools have the word "girls" in them, and the other girl is "Natalie", and I am 99.99% confident that Natalie is a girl's name) . So arguably at this point of measuring potential, there is a roughly equal distribution in mathematical ability, a pretty good proxy for tech ability. Why is that distribution then not reflected in the workplace? In the face of this solid evidence, you can't possible argue that physical biology has any connection to what are mental skills. I know this is very hard to accept, but this is not opinion, this is fact.

              Here's the actual list below, and the source is here so you can check for yourself:
              http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/ebos/static/TAINC_2016_12.html

              First name/s Family name Place School name
              Ada Fang 1 Sydney Girls High School
              Natalie Si-Yi Lee 1 Baulkham Hills High School
              Damian Jay Nakhla 1 St Ives High School
              Yuchen Ren 1 St George Girls High School
              Finnegan Waugh 1 St Joseph's College
              Matthew Winfred 1 Inaburra School
              Dawnlicity Charls 7 Fort Street High School
              Sheree Nguyen-Hoang 8 James Ruse Agricultural High School
              Stephen Shiao-Ru Lin 9 North Sydney Boys High School
              Sally Cao 10 Pymble Ladies' College
              Zenith Wang 11 Cranbrook School
              Regina Lee 12 James Ruse Agricultural High School
              Tobias Tasker 12 Cranbrook School
              Sandra Goria 14 Freeman Catholic College
              Ellis Silove 15 Reddam House
              Will Aching 16 Marist College Eastwood
              Daniel Graham Chee 16 Rose Bay Secondary College
              Jasmine Espejo 16 Bethlehem College
              Jovana Kolar 16 Bossley Park High School
              Cass Wai Gwan Lai 16 The King's School
              Xiucheng (Bella) Li 16 St Catherine's School
              Elliott Murphy 16 Canberra Grammar School
              Kimia Nassaj 16 Queenwood School for Girls
              Fahim Rahman 16 Malek Fahd Islamic School
              Prithvi Santana Baskar 16 Macquarie Fields High School
              Benjamin Street 16 International Grammar School

                Why? Because intelligent women also tend to have highly developed verbal/social skills. Intelligent men tend to have less highly developed verbal/social skills than women. This results in the men being typically more focused on their intellectual pursuits - as this is their speciality - whereas intelligent women have more options available to them.

                Ergo - women are differently represented in the workforce to men because they are different. They make different choices in life because the two groups are fundamentally very different.

                If you completely ignore differences in genetics, simply consider an experiment in which one group is treated with drugs promoting aggression and competition, and another is treated with drugs promoting empathy and emotion. Would you expect the two groups to act similarly or differently?

                Those drugs are testosterone and oestrogen (among others).

                  I'd agree with this, one of my sisters is currently in uni (absolutely smashing it too) and is way smarter than I will ever be. Her math scores in school were phenomenal. But despite a number of people (teachers and our Dad) pushing her to do engineering or other math related uni she was absolutely not interested and went into a diplomacy degree in Canberra.

                  Two of my other sisters were more interested in creative type degrees and despite being "smart" are uninterested in science/math/engineering. The fourth one went to study pharmacy but ultimately decided she wanted a family more and wasn't that interested in uni.

                  I realise it's a small sample, but all four of my sisters have been encouraged to do what they want and to study and learn and go to uni. Yet only one of them went into a "STEM" type course, and she dropped out of it.

                  Because intelligent women also tend to have highly developed verbal/social skills. Intelligent men tend to have less highly developed verbal/social skills than women.

                  Do you have a source for this assertion? Arguments don't work too well with invalid premises.

            Having a higher muscle density, or being more aggressive due to testosterone are not pre-requisite skills for solving equations or creating good software.

            But being more aggressive is an advantage when it comes to negotiating salaries and promotions. Many companies acknowledge this and, generalising in a sexist manner, they are starting to try to do something about it, ignoring the fact that many men are also shy and quiet - not your cave-man stereotype.

            The answer is not to encourage women to be more aggressive but to make the ethos of the whole work place less aggressive - but then doesn't that leave behind those men (and some women) who are very aggressive by nature?

            Unfortunately (for some), people are different. We just have to live with that. Companies have a duty (surely) to eradicate all actual sexism (also other forms of discrimination) - but if a woman is excluded because she possesses some characteristic that you might call "feminine", and the reason is that this characteristic makes her less suitable for the job, that is not sexism. Remember that men can also have "feminine" characteristics, and isn't this the 21st century? How can you even define a "feminine" characteristic these days?

          Wow, generalise much? OK--assuming that isn't a troll ... perhaps against my better judgement ...

          Men are, generally speaking, physically stronger than women. But Cathy Freeman could run circles around you. I don't reckon you'd fare too well against the WAFL either. Or the Opals, or ... well, really any netball team. Or women's professional or ranked footy team, hockey team, archery team, cricket team ... That said, sport, particularly in the media, is male dominated. That's a complex set of circumstances and NONE of them have to do with innate male superiority so much as they do with patriarchy and late-stage capitalism, on which I won't tax your brain.

          I used to fence competitively. I would routinely beat male fencers, because I was agile, quick and able to read what they were going to do from miles away. They'd lumber down the piste, and come at me like a thresher, and *plink*, I'd hit their flank. They had strength, size and reach over me, but I was the better fencer.

          ETA: The point of the fencing anecdote is this: I brought a different set of skills to bear on the problem. I found a different (and better) way to solve a problem than brute force. That is true of the workplace as well. Different people (male, female, young, old) bring different skills to the table. Those skills aren't based on gender or ethnicity; they are based on individual talents, strengths (which, in the case of software engineering, are NOT tied to the y-chromosome) and experience.

          Last edited 07/08/17 12:30 pm

            "That's a complex set of circumstances and NONE of them have to do with innate male superiority so much as they do with patriarchy and late-stage capitalism, on which I won't tax your brain."

            It has everything to do with male-superiority.

            Men would dominate women in 99% of sport if played against each other. The only one where women are superior is long distance (kms) endurance swimming. No one wants to watch a one sided affair, it’s boring. Hence, every major sport is split into male and female sections. It’s not being sexist, it’s more to bring equality towards female athletes.

            Remember when the Australian women's soccer team got dominated by 15-year boys? These were boys against the best of adult female soccer, in a non-contact sport as well.
            http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/05/25/matildas-beaten-7-0-by-newcastle-jets-under-15-boys-team_a_21383895/

            Again, non-contact sports, such as athletics, it gets even worse.

            By the end of 1998, the women’s world record for the marathon was still more than 10 minutes behind the men’s. In 2016, that gap has increased. The record marathon time for the men (2:02:57) is now more than 12 minutes faster than for the women (2:15:25).

            Even if you include transgender athletes, the reduce levels of testosterone decreases the ability to compete against men. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25137421

              Having what, exactly, do do with whether women can excel at software engineering? You've picked an odd hill to die on there. I still say Cathy Freeman would run rings around you.

                My 400m time is 47.5, so faster than Cathy Freeman. But who is keeping score?

                MY first comment was about your line "I do not have to tolerate the views of someone who automatically regards me (or anyone else) as inferior because of biology."

                If you are a woman, then you are inferior at 99% of a sport when competing at the same level as men. That is fact.

                The same can be said if you are white, you are inferior at running than if you are black.
                The same can be said if you are black, you are inferior at swimming that if you are white.

                It basic biology, and nothing to do with sexism or racism.

                  all good arguments. Well, most of them. Some are a bit too heated to sway me.
                  please pardon my brevity but all I want to add to the discussion is that I am very uncomfortable with gender quotas as a at of measuring our success with gender equity.
                  carry on guys.

        "Women as a gender are not biologically capable of doing X" isn't a nuanced debating point any more than "people with black skin are biologically inferior to people with beige skin" is. It's not Left or Right; it's WRONG. Incorrect. In error. Not based on fact. Not legitimate. Actual bullshit."

        Women are incapable of producing sperm. (Let's sidestep the transgender nuance for a moment.) There you go, sport.

          Yup, you got me. :)

          Only trans women can produce sperm. Which, clearly, means they can be software engineers because SCIENCE. Or, er ... something.

        You completely missed what he said. He quite rightly said that there is overlap in ability and traits, so sure you might get a woman who is better or worse. The problem is though, that they programs which require you to be a woman to get access. Or quotas that say "we must have x% of woman in these roles". Both situations are innately discriminatory and potentially create scenarios where the best person isn't the one who gets the job. It's an easy test, flip the requirement to "if you're male" and think about whether people would be upset.

          I think there's more to a workforce than how well you can do the job, it is up to the hiring manager to pick the best person for the team and the role.

          I've been employed in several roles because the people hiring have said they could see me fitting into the team better than other candidates with more suitable experience / qualifications.

          From what I gather, Google wants a more equal workforce not to tick boxes but because they believe this will increase profits because of increased teamwork and creativity, both skills that this manifesto claims women are better at than men.

          If their mandate is to get a more creative and cohesive workforce then it might be more likely that women are the best candidates for being hired, even if they seem less suited on paper.

          However if their mandate is simply to increase the amount of women employed regardless of personality then yeah that seems pretty wrong to me!

            I mentioned interviewing in another post, when we interviewed we had a bunch of criteria and weighted them differently. Most important criteria being weighted most heavily. Criteria aren't just "coding ability" (for example) they also include communication skills, attitude, quick thinking (ironically I can't think of the proper term) and so on.

            Importantly the weighting on the criteria vary based on the role. For example communication and attitude would be weighted higher for a public facing role, or one where the person needs to have regular meetings or work in a team compared to a role where they don't.

            So yeah, it's definitely possible (and appropriate) to hire someone with say less technical skill because their other skills, communication, management, etc are better.

            Back to Google, I have a problem with what they've done, especially now they sacked the guy. Because they don't appear to want a transparent dialog with their staff about the matter. Nor do they wish to take feedback. It's obviously a contentious issue there and it would have made far more sense to be open in discussions about it. If they were genuine about the issue they probably should have provided an explanation of their hiring practices (like you speculated) which address the issue rather than "This is our policy. You're fired!"

            Of course, a lot of this is speculation (on all our parts) since none of us are privy to the actual behind the scenes discussions of Google management.

              Yeah not sure what I feel for the sacking.

              I've thought the cynical "This is our policy. You're fired!" way, but to look at it another way, this only went global because Google was directly named.

              Had he made the memo his own opinion about employment in general, this wouldn't have made worldwide news and he wouldn't have been sacked. Same goes for if it had stayed internal.

              Google like most large companies will have contract clauses banning you from discussing politics and policies online while directly naming them. Fair or not, it is legal for them to sack him over this.

                Maybe, it depends on whether the govt legislation overrides it. Which makes the court case pretty interesting, though I suspect it won't make it to court.

                I think the sacking seems like an extreme first step. Surely there should have been some sort of sit down with HR and discussing his actions rather than just "boom you're gone"? And maybe there would have been if it'd stayed internal. Like you said, it went public which probably changed everything.

        Women are not biologically capable of insemination. Now that I got the cheap joke out of the way, no one is making the argument here that "women as a gender are not biologically capable of doing x" where "x" equals anything of actual significance. You are fighting a straw man. The argument being made is that there are differences between the interests and abilities of men and women (when examined at a statistical level) and that these differences may be of greater explanatory power than oppression narratives when trying to understand the remaining gender gaps in society.

        Yet, not in any part of this essay did he say "women are incapable of X". You are WRONG. In error. And you are intentionally lying to people.

          Read the damned thing. Properly. He used a lot of weasel words and conditionals to imply that 30% or more of his colleagues were, shucks, just not developer material because of their biology, poor things. His entire manifesto is that oh, gosh, people with ladyparts are just too darned sociable and co-operative and not aggressive and individualistic enough for programming. It's bullshit biological determinism, it elevates stereotypically masculine traits over female ones and he uses it to justify discrimination.

          Here's just one example. The thing is full of them.

          "I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership."

          The "may" and the "in part" are infantile ass-covering. The entire thing is based on the idea that the reason women are discriminated against is because of biology, and really for their own good.

            You're still not understanding his point.

            You can easily have a population level difference that explains why there's only a small percent of men in some activity, but that doesn't mean that ALL men are inferior at that activity, or that ALL the men who do that activity are inferior at it. The women who work at Google are capable but the differences still exist at the level of the population.

            He's talking about average population-level differences (which do exist). He's not saying his female colleagues are inferior - that's why he said: "you can't say anything about an individual given these population level distributions"

            You should read it more carefully.

              I've been chatting to friends in the tech industry and they say the same thing, that female colleagues are in the minority but are just as capable and suited to the role.

      The author claims it is an attack on his ideology, and then makes a flawed attempt to justify sexism based on pseudo-science and his opinion, making vague references to psychology without citing any sources.

      There is plenty of room for diversity of perspective, but argumentation needs evidence, not unfounded opinion.

        He did cite sources. Gizmodo just didn't include them and removed about two pages worth of his arguments. If you aren't here simply to sow dissent- then you can read the unabridged version at this link-
        http://diversitymemo.com

          There was a disappointing lack of evidence in his segment about the pay gap, he just states that for the same work men and women get the same hourly rate.

          Not that I agree or disagree with this point but I would have loved to see some statistics to back this up, as he correctly mentions most of the time when we see stats on this it is based on company-wide or national averages and doesn't take into account individual circumstances.

      The very fact this fellow feels the need to "defend" white males proves he's got issued. Why is he so worried about gender? Is he feeling threatened by women taking his job? Why doesn't he just concentrate on his job and possibly making a contribution in his field? He sounds insecure with deep seated inferiority feelings. Which after reading this nonsense might be well deserved.

    Women can't handle stress, ooooh boy. Considering I've seen women handle stress 10x than what I've seen men handle I don't even know what to say. The mental gymnastics men will play to put down women is beyond concieveable. I honestly don't know how any women can stay in relationships with men at all.

      Woman give birth to children. That alone should prove they can easily handle stress.

        What does a normal physiological function have to do with a capacity to deal with stress?

          Look at this idiot.

            Why? Because I don’t equate the ability to deal with one specific event as indicative of an ability to cope with all stressors?

            Maybe you’re the idiot.

          A very painful physiological function that requires a great deal of patience. One that causes a complete body change. Lasts for 9 months +. Culminates with a 20+ hours of pushing a baby out. Not to mention 24 hr care for the baby and breastfeeding as well and that too after the actual birth. If I had to choose between a high powered job, with long hours, dealing with business meetings, doing work vs. pregnancy, give me the job anyday.

            Yeah this completely ignores the psychology of stress and coping mechanisms - in other words, it’s a meaningless comparison.

            Talk about gender stereotyping - once the baby is out a man can look after an infant as well as a female.

          This physiological function happens to bring about a lot of stress into people :)

            It does, but the point is that it’s a normal function women are equipped to deal with. A woman can go through birth without any analgesia (the last baby I delivered, the mother didn’t have anything) and yet completely fall apart with a different stressor, like caring for said child, or getting fired, or having a pet die.

            The point I’m making is that a statement like “Women can handle stress, they have babies!” is about as insightful or meaningful as saying “Men handle stress better because they’re men.”

              "completely fall apart" I assume is your observation that some women will cry and be more outwardly emotional in their response to stress. That is not a reflection of how well a person copes with stress. Being able to hold back the tears is equally not a measure of ability to cope with stress. There is conflicting research ( http://time.com/4254089/science-crying/ )as to whether crying is good for you or not, but in this example, not relevant so I am not sure why you are raising it.

              The fact remains that pregnancy and childbirth are physiologically and mentally stressful processes, and saying that it says nothing because women are equipped to cope with that stress is to completely belittle the women who go through it, and dismiss it as insignificant.

              The truth is that the level to which women cope with pregnancy and childbirth is a spectrum. Some women have minimal complications, some women die from it. "Men are men" is not an equivalent statement to "women have babies".

              From your statement it seems you are suggesting that you've delivered a few babies in your time, or perhaps you are saying you are a midwife or an obstetrician. You've clearly not seen many or you would not have that opinion. Or if you have seen many, and seen a portion of those women suffer and perhaps die, and you still dismiss it, then that's disturbing.

              Even if we did agree that childbirth were not a strong example of women's ability to cope with stress, we would be left with the statistical argument that there is a distribution of ability to cope with stress. If these differences are "minimal" as the author states, and there is "significant overlap" between genders, then those minimal differences in statistical distribution should be equally reflected in reality. They are not, so therefore there is more than biology going on here.

                Wow, for someone so apparently educated, you totally missed the point and tried to hide behind accusing me of being sexist.

                My point is the fact that a woman can endure childbirth has zero relevance to stating a capacity to deal with stress - where ‘stress’ is totally unquantified and a nebulous concept. I lack a uterus but I can be totally calm resuscitating a dead child while their family are incapacitated by grief - itself a stressor. I can go 14 hours on a shift without showing signs of fatigue while some will clock out at 8.

                The irony of your post is that ‘stress and coping is a spectrum’ is exactly what I was getting at - and making meaningless statements like ‘women have babies therefore they can deal with stress’ is a ridiculous statement that talks of only one kind of stress, does not take into account how people react to stress, nor that a single individual has multiple responses to different stressors.

                But whatever, call me a heartless sexist or some absurd nonsense. You’re actually on my side, whether you like it or not and no matter how many straw men you toss up!

      Men can't handle stress, ooooh boy. Considering I've seen men handle stress 10x than what I've seen women handle I don't even know what to say. The mental gymnastics women will play to put down men is beyond concieveable. I honestly don't know how any men can stay in relationships with women at all.

      Hmmm... nice anecdote, but how do you explain this-
      https://twitter.com/NPR/status/894711002964660224
      "A former Google software engineer says some women at the company skipped work today, upset by the leaked memo"
      If you think you have the high moral ground due to the level of your outrage, I would suggest you read the comments under the headline. You are not in the majority here.

        How would a former employee have access to this information?

        Even a current employee would have difficulty proving that statement.

        Sounds made up to me.

    I had this sent me me a few weeks back: http://www.pnas.org/content/112/17/5360 . It's interesting and not what I would have expected.

    "The underrepresentation of women in academic science is typically attributed.. to sexist hiring. Here we report five hiring experiments in which faculty evaluated hypothetical female and male applicants, using systematically varied profiles disguising identical scholarship, for assistant professorships in biology, engineering, economics, and psychology. Contrary to prevailing assumptions, men and women faculty members from all four fields preferred female applicants 2:1 over identically qualified males with matching lifestyles"

    Not saying it's good or bad just interesting and worth sharing with the broader community.

      The abstract also concludes "These results suggest it is a propitious time for women launching careers in academic science. Messages to the contrary may discourage women from applying for STEM"
      Perhaps this is a positive reaction to more general awareness of gender bias? Rather than an artificial experiment to test hiring reactions for non-existent tenures, a better set of data would be actual tenure held by women vs men https://www.nature.com/news/inequality-quantified-mind-the-gender-gap-1.12550 Generally it looks like there is a positive trend, but the gap is still significant.

        Perhaps there was no gender bias and all of this "awareness" (bringing down companies who don't tow the line) has actually introduced the bias towards women.

    Although I don't agree with the sentiment I do agree that having one opinion as the only valid opinion to hold is not good. Things should be deliberated between all the parties involved and a consensus reached. Rather than abrogating responsibility to a higher power and having them decide.

    In any asymmetric relationship it's odd to read someone on the more powerful side complaining about not having the same protections as those on the weaker side.

    It's bizarre that offering protections to the disadvantaged gets equated with "a tool of authoritarians" but then it is the US where the poor are hated (for being poor).

      Anytime you have a boss it is a asymmetric relationship. That's how society works and the correct interpretation is not the one of the oppressed but the correct interpretation is the one that is supported by the most quantitative of facts.

      Its sounds like you're university educated from the type of wording you use to show you have a socially constructed worldview. This type of thinking is called postmodernism and it is a cancer that the French intellects include Jacque Derrida brought over to Yale in the 1960's. Now over 90% of the humanity papers have 0 citations, yet the libraries have to buy them. This is literally funding the same ideas that brought us the Gulag Archipelago. It's the same ideaology the French intellects switched to after they realized neo-Marxism idealology killed over 100 million people and that no one would take it seriously.

      Yet here we are in 2017 going back to the authoritarian left. In Canada we already have compelled speech laws and fails safes to take children away from those who are ideologically different from the governments view. If you really care about the oppress don't ask for more government. Because forcing equality just makes things more separate. You're basically rooting for segregation from an ideaology that was used to send people to abandoned islands to die because of the way they think.

    All I'm really wondering is whether this guy wrote any of his manifesto on company time. If so, he clearly needs to be given more work.

      Statistically he already works longer hours than his female counterparts, so maybe cut him some slack. :)

      Doesn't google have a perk where you spend some of your contracted time working on things other than your main job that are interesting to you? I'd expect that examination of the working environment would probably fit that brief.

      However flawed the results ...

    The main issue with this article is its inherent stereotyped thinking : " Women on average...." statements are meant to be applied to ALL women. This is precisely the problem. Even if those traits are true for women on average, any given woman may or may not fit them. I am a woman scientist and I fit very few of those stereotypes. And that makes my life very hard... I'm expected to prefer people over concepts/analysis and I don't. Consequently I'm "odd" or "reserved", while my male colleagues with the same phenotype are "smart". Overcoming these things uses up my mental energy that I would otherwise use on projects. That's how stereotype leads to bias. And it's only one of many many scenarios. Surprising that a supposedly smart person who seems to have put some thought into this, didn't see how flawed his reasoning was. Because he's a male, I'll conclude he's dumb, it it was a woman; I'd have thought she's being overly invested emotionally. That's how the lovely stereotypes work :D

      It's basically ego and arrogance hidden under the overuse of a thesaurus and an underuse of the K.I.S.S. principle. Gets me every time that people tend to think that using long winded sentences to make prejudice sound reasonable is a sign of intelligence.
      And yes to all us women being harmed by these notions. Notions about women that these men most likely gather from mass media (which also coincidentally is created primairly by men). And ofcourse when they come across a single woman who fits into their biases, that is used to further justify their beliefs.
      The "studies" concerning so much of this social science phenomena are so outrageously questionable. And to think these men use them to cement thier prejudices. Sigh.

        The engineer's article does represent a type of self-obsessed pointlessness. However, there is a quite anger and prejudice in your arguments that you seem to justify only by your apparent authority as a female.
        Plus, the social sciences relating to workplace gender equality, should be looked at more thoroughly by yourself. That is of course, if you want any of your arguments to have any weight and relevancy.

        Strange thing about people, two genders, male and female. Females have the ability to have children, males can not do so. This creates a large biological difference which influences every aspect of our lives. No, males and females are not the same, only in some weird fantasy concocted by feminist propaganda. Males and females are not meant to be the same, nature has developed the two genders to be cooperative, not competitive. Else the race will not survive. The religion of feminism is attempting to turn females against males. "Men are the enemy, They hold you back, they discriminate against you! Compete against men, be better, be stronger, be tougher, be all you can be. You can do anything! Yah!" How can anyone believe this nonsense?
        Problem is, the grass always looks greener from the other side of the fence. Males also have issues, which are often not publicly aired or discussed because they are expected to be able to handle it. Who else is going to? Who can men blame for their problems? Should we blame women, perhaps? Let's say no to that for now.
        Company and political policies of diversity are buying into the whole "Let's be average" mentality.
        Communism did all this already 80 years ago! Don't any of you remember? Males and females treated the same, just workers for the state. Same wage, same treatment. How did that work out for communist countries? All good leftist/marxist ideals. Did they work out well for the citizens?
        I don't think so. Look at how both China and Russia have leapt ahead after moving away from their failed policies. Have a look at how primitive Cuba is still today.
        Advancement and payment should always be on merit, not race, gender or any other consideration.
        Sadly leftist/marxist idealism is becoming firmly entrenched in our country, universities and companies even though it is a failed policy that rewards mediocrity. This does not bode well for the future.

      Yes, exactly Ivonne! I've encountered the same thing, and yes, it wastes energy.

      Well, he did state that the average differences between men and women should not be applied to individuals. Many of these differences are small and there's significant overlap between men and women, so you can't say anything about an individual given these population level distributions.

        Well, the entire section "Non-discriminatory ways to reduce the gender gap" is based on "Women on average..." statements. So he acknowledges the average differences cannot be applied to individuals, but supports "non-discriminatory" measures based on them. How does that make sense?

          Because that's how generalisations/averages work. They're not a hard rule about how everyone sharing a certain trait exactly is. They're an indicator. If a person bucks a generalisation, that's great. But if they do fit it, it helps to be prepared for it knowing that statistically a person is more likely to be a certain way.
          It all comes down to how you treat a generalisation. They're not a hard rule, more a "you're likely to be this but I'm happy to proven wrong as I get to know you". Also helps if you don't negatively judge someone you don't know based on a generalisation.

            I fully agree that it helps if you don't negatively judge someone you don't know based on a generalisation. But this is exactly what happens with stereotyping. Psychologists say that we form our opinion of someone in the first 10 seconds or so of meeting them. That's why body language is so powerful, and also why stereotypes are so hard to overcome. "you're likely to be this" becomes " you're likely to be this, but you don't seem to be, what's wrong with you?". In reality, nobody spends too much time dissecting out a person. And in my experience the more competitive an environment is, the more people use stereotypes, just because there's no time to figure people out. So I don't see any benefit in advocating "average" views of people and implementing policy based on them.
            Needless to say that these "on average..." descriptions of women are meaningless in the context of this article: you should look at the traits of the average female software engineer(or Google employee), rather than women in general.

              I agree with most of what you have to say, especially with how easy it is use generalisations negatively. In an ideal world they would just be another tool used to build each other up, but we live in a far from ideal world.
              And yes, I agree the traits of an average female software engineer would be different to an average female. I'd say its their differences to the overall average that make that field of work appealing to them. But then that ties into what the google guy was saying, that just getting more females in to satisfy a diversity quota isn't going to work for getting more females into software engineering in the first place. What's he's advocating (even if poorly) is that we change how the job is worked to make it more appealing to the average female, not just the average female software engineer, so that in general there's more females to choose from in the hiring process and there is no need to prioritise them to hit a diversity quota.

                Yeah, I strongly dislike the idea of the diversity quota. I am very much against it. But I'm told that the aim is to provide role models. And that is a strong argument. Having more role models is probably the best way to get more women interested in a job in STEM. But for the really good women in their field, this culture of prioritising women is a disadvantage.

          It makes sense very simply: Because at that point he's talking about groups rather than individuals, therefore group trends becomes part of the discussion.

      This is precisely the problem. Even if those traits are true for women on average, any given woman may or may not fit them

      The article explicitly points out this fact. He states exactly that.

        That doesn't help the victim narrative though.

          See above the replies to lambomang. Even if he acknowledges that not all people in a group follow the "average trend", he still proposes policy based on those averages. Due to the way psychology works, i.e. we form an opinion of people in 10s or so, promoting the "average" view leads to stereotypes. And no, it's not a victim narrative. In fact I am reluctant to support the "quota" approach, and I have refused to participate in programs designed for women only, because I felt they were discriminating against my male colleagues. I very much believe hiring should be done on merit, it is in fact the best way to promote women. But this was very poorly argued in this article, and the list of stereotypes did not help.

            Did you read the original memo? The policy he proposes is specifically to bring more women into tech, if that is Google's end goal. Tailoring your business practices to cater to the "average" woman is more likely to attract women in general.

            Then the victim narrative machine went into full swing and decried him as a "misogynist" who hates all women. Because he dared to use the "hate fact" that men and women, in general, are different.

      The phrase "women on average" does apply to ALL women, as a scientist you should know the definition of "average". The author has shown a good knowledge of statistics, so you know he doesn't mean "All women...".

      You acknowledge that it means nothing about any woman currently employed at Google (unless the selection criteria has been modified for women only). While the selection procedures are not perfect, on balance all employees have been chosen for their ability to perform these duties. Yet, not just Google, but most tech firms, the individual selection procedures result in more males than females. That is an empirical fact. It continues despite every attempt to remove bias and discrimination in the hiring process. This is an observed fact. This also says nothing about the distribution of overall capacity between the sexes.

      To point at this and claim a-priori that it results from either discrimination or biological differences is to commit Hume's naturalistic fallacy. It may be a combination of both, or something else entirely, there would need to be incontrovertible evidence to rule out any explanation.

      Biology: Any hypothetical biological causes (apart from mere differences in physiology which have already been addressed) are not alterable as yet, then there is nothing to be done at the workplace level. But just because it can't be altered, that does mean that it does not exist. But to unilaterally claim that it does not exist in a particular occupation is without basis and risks that unproven assertions will always be made if any unexplained disparity is observed.

      Discrimination: Since laws have been in place for thirty years to reduce previously identified discrimination and the numbers of women have increased, any other discrimination is not obvious, and empirical evidence is needed before more measures are put in place, otherwise it becomes unfair, and could adversely affect the productivity of the business. The continual search for extra hypothetical discrimination based of non-empirical constructs such of as white-male-privilege, which may or may not exist, but there must be objective data to ensure it is not discriminatory against men.

      We have all accepted that historical discrimination occurred and these have been identified and been addressed, so to assert that there is some unspecified discrimination because discrimination is the only reason the numbers are not 50-50, again commits Hume's fallacy. "We don't know, but it's men's fault, or capitalism's fault, or white people's fault", or anything else, is not a valid explanation, without empirical evidence. Since these gaps exist and have failed to move despite many attempts, it strongly suggests that the basis of these attempts are false. How about "We don't know, and we leave it to the rigorous selection process developed over many years" until there is empirical evidence to suggest otherwise.

        What no takers?

          I agree with most of what you said, interesting post. The difference in the number of males and females in tech and science is indeed likely a combination of ongoing/historical discriminaton, cultural context (i.e. what the society leads women to believe about themselves) and biological differences (it is hypocritical to deny they exist at a group level). I don't think we should aim for 50:50, but we should aim for a non-discriminating environment for those women who choose to work in STEM. But I don't agree with your statement that the 30 years of anti-discrimination measures has eliminated all discrimination. There is certainly improvement but there is still a lot of unconscious bias. Just the other day Clarks shoes had a girls' shoe named "baby doll" and a boys' shoe named "leader"... We all have some degree of bias, and women are just as biased as men... All we can do is try to monitor our own biases and be honest with ourselves.

      Well if you're a scientist and still have a problem with understanding what an average is and how it differs from stereotypes... well, that might be a bad news.

        oh dear... See replies to evo and lambomang above.

    His comments about differences between males and females are bordering on rubbish, but a lot of the rest of his points may have some merit to them. It's a sad reflection on society if we're desperate to destroy the concept of merit in a rush to fulfil quotas. He also has a point that creating echo-chambers where people are afraid to present dissenting opinions for fear of microaggressions or such nonsense is counterproductive.

    It's not like he's come out and said "Ban women from leadership positions" but rather that promoting people just to fill a quota as opposed to promoting someone based on merit and capacity to do the job ultimately isn't beneficial except to wave a banner for diversity. Much of what he's suggesting is to create environments to enable improvement and development, rather than just lowering the barrier.

      Exactly my views, I think he was a bit crude in comparing male/female traits, and in fact it detracted from (what I took for) the crux of his post.

      I could understand his message and would rather discuss the issue, rather than the manner in which he raised it. After reading many of the comments above, it seems as though the majority of people are caught up over a few sentences which didn't agree with them which somehow seems to invalidate every point that he attempted to raise - and to some extent validates the very same points.

      Most positions will see enough candidates with equally impressive resumes, that in those instances it doesn't matter which you choose based on merit.

      However, improving diversity within a workplace, not just physically but of developmental backgrounds and education, does more to potentially improve the effectiveness of the role within a team.

      Faced with hiring, i do choose to widen the net of experience under me, and it's not at the cost of individual performance.

        As long as you're hiring based on similar merit then that's perfectly fine. It's only an issue where someone who is under qualified gets a job because of bias.

        That said, it's actually damned hard to find two applicants who are basically equivalent. There is usually something that separates them, whether it's work history, academic qualifications or just how well they perform in an interview. We had a few people applying for jobs that were pretty similar but we ranked based on a number of points which were weighted differently depending on what the job needed.

          When this well researched and finely tuned selection criteria leads to a gender disparity in a particular workplace, what questions need to be asked?

          A/. It could just be random error, what is the expected standard deviation?

          B./ Is there evidence that similar procedures in other companies in the same occupations give comparable results?

          C/. Have other companies tried to change this based on a plausible hypothesis, and what was the effect?

          Conclusion: If another company has made changes which demonstrably have an effect over time, with increased productivity and higher profits, then we will make the changes. Otherwise we stand by our procedures.

            You also missed a couple;

            D/ Interviewers genuinely aren't impartial and are allowing bias to affect their selection.

            E/ Selection criteria/weighting may be flawed.

            F/ External factors influencing applicants.

            The first two you (the employer) need to review and make sure it's correct. If it is then so be it. If not then you should take action and change criteria or get different people to do the interviews (and probably discipline or at least retrain the ones for are biased). The third, well we have no say in that. It's a societal change that's required.

            As for examining other companies policies that's a tough call too. Because of the disparity between roles, staff and what you're producing between companies. Just because you have two companies who are both say, IT companies doesn't mean what they're producing is the same, or that having the same workforce diversity will make you better/worse. This is something that needs to be decided internally in the company.

            As for when I sat on job panels, a couple times we literally didn't have a female applicant. So what are we supposed to do? Say "no we can't hire anyone (when we desperately needed staff) because none of them are female"? Personally I read their applications and looked at their quals and decided on whether they were worth interviewing before even looking at their name. I honestly think that's better.

    After a careful read of this document, I think it's actually incredibly well thought out.

    The claims he's making about gender traits are not some idle claims pulled out of his imagination. He's listed well established traits that have been thoroughly researched globally and on a large scale by academic psychology researchers. He's even been careful to state that these things cannot be used to judge individuals - they are statistic trends across the population, so they can be used to predict gross outcomes across industries.

    How hard can it be to accept that men and women are not the same. It's not about better/worse. Diversity is good, right? Why not embrace it?

    It stands out for example, that the most gender egalitarian countries in the world (e.g. Sweden) have the lowest rates of STEM fields participation by women, while Pakistan and Iran have near equal gender participation.

    The point is that when you maximise freedom to choose, those well established biological/psychological traits become the dominant influence. Knowing this, the idea of gender quotas should reasonably be viewed as an ideological imposition on people's real preference.

    He's advocating that Google should be gender blind. That individual skill and preference should be respected.

    How bad could that be?

      The implicit conclusion in the argument is that women are intellectually inferior, that men are more skilled, and that the gender pay gap is completely justifiable because men are more deserving. The document, on face value, appears to be well written because he engages in shallow reflection of psychology concepts, and uses words with multiple syllables, but if you read this with more than a cursory skimming it is not a rational intellectual argument, it is deeply conflicted and flawed.

      There are contradictions of contradictions, and unfounded statements for example, the author mentions IQ, "the Left tends to deny science concerning biological differences between people (e.g., IQ[8] and sex differences"
      On reading that sentence you see a reference "[8]" so naturally assume it must be to some established science that proves men are smarter than women, right? Wrong. No such evidence is provided, just an ideological diversion.
      " [8] Ironically, IQ tests were initially championed by the Left when meritocracy meant helping the victims of the aristocracy."

      What is the context of that quote? Who made it? How are the ideological differences of the Left and Right in anyway evidence of an IQ difference between women and men? We aren't told, and there is no relevance. Ideology and gender IQ are in no way related concepts. This is a bait-and-switch argument. Don't look at the man behind the curtain! Nothing to see here. No substance to the argument.

      The author claims that there is no cost/benefit to increasing diversity, but later argues that changes to roles should be made in order to attract more women and diversity to those roles. There's a contradiction of conviction right there. If the author believes that women are inferior for biological reasons, then what possible reason could there be to hire them at all? Again, there's no solid argument here, just a series of disconnected thoughts masquerading as justification for sexism.

      I'll bet the author is a great programmer who writes terrible code. Clever obfuscations that no-one can understand or support, effectively self-serving code-sturbation. Women are clearly stupider because they can't understand his code golf.

      For anyone who looks beyond the (mostly) correct grammar, well formed sentences, and a scattering of facts gleaned from superficial research into psychology and sociology, it is easily shown that there is no substance to this argument. It's just a very long passive aggressive rant by a (ineffectually) educated man who is angry at the world. What is his disadvantage? Has he been overlooked for some management promotion? Pure speculation, but I'll bet there's something deeper going on here, or why else would he feel so threatened?

      If men are much smarter, much more assertive, and much better leaders, then why would a few programs to correct the disadvantage of certain groups of society be a problem? If things were equal to begin with, then there might be some validity to the argument that special programs are some kind of reverse-discrimination. The fact is that the gender pay gap is real*, we start from a foundation of significant discrimination and disadvantage that has nothing to do with skills or potential, and is effectively arbitrary. If you are born into privilege, then why is that deserved? How do your skills as a baby justify your instant advantage? The ir-rationale that concludes from that line if thinking is pure cognitive dissonance, that men are better than women, and the fallacy of eugenics. I deserve my privilege because it is mine. These selfish justifications are completely illogical, yet easy to latch on to by people willing to delude themselves.

      If you are female, non-white, disabled, poor, etc then you start life with a significant handicap to meeting your potential. We need some serious correction to this issue. Unfortunately for those people who currently benefit from that discrimination, the correction will mostly involve their loss of "status".

      * The gender pay gap in Australia:
      https://www.wgea.gov.au/sites/default/files/Gender_Pay_Gap_Factsheet.pdf

        White people are under represented at Google, being 50ish percent of Google and 62ish percent of the US population.

        Women have been the majority (and increasing) of university graduates across the western world for at least 20 years. Around 90% of psychologists and veterinarians and the majority or doctors and lawyers.

        I think you've been lied to about the reality of much disadvantage. The one area that stands out the other way around is the STEM fields, but that seems to be mostly a matter of choice.

    This is not a conservative document at all. It's a well written and researched opinion about the progressive con known as 'diversity'.

    The key argument is that all diversity is encouraged, but diversity of thought is not permitted. Organizations without diversity of thought become totalitarian. This leads to negative outcomes for the organization (or society).

    He is 100% correct.

    Google made absolute idiots of themselves in the last election. Drunk on globalist progressivism, we saw Eric Schmidt make a fool of himself wandering around wearing Hillary Clinton badges, showing Google to be a partisan organization and advising the DNC.

    No one appeared to be advising him to stop. That's because there was no one around who had a different view. Smarter organizations stayed quiet.

    Well, Trump won. Google now don't have the access they once enjoyed to the WH or POTUS. And it really doesn't matter whether you agree with Schmidt or not. He has damaged Google.

    That's what happens when there's no genuine diversity of thought in the culture and management team.

    It's good that Google permits speech like this in a forum, but given the chilling response from this 'Danielle', the Orwellian 'President of Diversity, Integrity & Governance', I suspect this young man will be targeted and hounded out of the business by the totalitarians who run the echo chamber. It will be interesting to follow his fortunes.

    Women better suited for front end SWE roles? Oh, please. I've been saddled with the results of that widely-held bias for an entire 35-year career. I've mostly worked in front-end roles, where I have little talent - sorry, I'm not a designer, I'm an optimiser. The one time a great company actually dared to hire me for internals work despite the fact that I have breasts, I kicked tail to the extent of 3 promotions, attention at the top levels of a 80,000+ person company, and more than doubling my income in 5 years, because I was GOOD at it, unlike front end stuff that I am merely acceptable at.

      You've just highlighted that a good company hires on merit not quota. And that gender bias is not endemic to all of society.

        So true, that about 8% of the tech companies for whom I've worked don't operate on gender bias!!! I am so glad there's not a problem in the industry, I mean, if an entire 8% of it operate gender-blind....... (That's facetiousness, FYI.)

          So why did you apply for jobs as a front end designer if that's not your talent/preference? I'd assume since you wanted a job and money, like most people. Which is fine, you do what you have to to pay the bills, but you can't blame your boss for the job.

          If you (generic you, not you specifically) apply for a particular job and you're not really suited to it can you blame your employer if they don't promote you or recognise your talents? I mean they hired you specifically for a role not for some other role that you'd rather do.

            When you keep applying for systems roles and keep getting offered front end designer roles you DID NOT EVER apply for because as you say, why be stupid and apply for jobs you know aren't what you went to school to learn how to do and don't hold your interest, eventually you have to take one to pay the bills.

            And let it be noted that it's not that I didn't have skills. When I finally got to use what skills I had left (which were fewer than the skills I had had a decade or so earlier, that I couldn't use), I impressed the heck out of a large tech employer. One manager, noting my mid-career age, actually exclaimed one day, "Where have you been hiding all these years?". (Answer: on the far other coast for family reasons, where there are fewer systems jobs, and they prefer to give them to men, even men whose mistakes I have to go behind and fix to keep clients from suing the employer.)

    "The text of the post is reproduced in full below, with some minor formatting modifications. Two charts and several hyperlinks are also omitted."

    Why? Sure, they would have taken up space, but anymore than your pictures that clutter up this page? and if the hyperlinks are part of his evidence are you not now actively attempting to weaken his ground by omitting his evidence?

    Google has a distinct internal culture.
    There are accepted means for bitching about things internally that are used daily eg. memegen.
    As far as I'm concerned the failure is not that he wrote his diatribe, it is that it leaked out to the public.
    It should never have.
    It isn't our business that an individual wrote a piece griping about their diversity strategy.
    It has happened in other companies that I worked at where people complained about "positive discrimination" eg. we'll hire (minority x) over an (equally qualified majority y), the difference is you never heard about them.
    It is part of the diversity journey, the thing that took a hit was the original author of the 10 page article and Google's brand itself.
    His opinions are not the views of the company and were expressed with the trust that they would never be shared publicly.

    Last edited 07/08/17 11:27 am

    Sorry I couldn't get past

    Left Biases
    Compassion for the weak

    Is this person seriously saying that compassion is a left/right political trait? Wow.

      Have you looked at the policies from traditional left/right political parties? It's evident even now in Australia.

    People should be hired because they are best qualified to perform a role. These days, companies have various tools in place to gauge qualifications as it goes beyond the traditional bits on a piece of paper.

    If a person is identified as most qualified to perform the role, then why should gender matter?

      Well there are four main reasons I can think of:
      1) There is evidence to suggest that teams perform better when they're gender diverse (http://gap.hks.harvard.edu/impact-gender-diversity-performance-business-teams-evidence-field-experiment)
      2) If males are the 98% of a given field, it tends to be less attractive to women to want to get into that field, therefore it stays 98% male. If however you forcefully try and balance, you begin to change the perception of the chosen profession and you begin to change the balance.
      3) As per 2), when a given role requires someone with n number years of experience, if women were never given a shot as a junior- then they won't have the experience and are automatically excluded more senior roles. It's a sneaky type of discrimination.
      (at a recent google cloud architecture day I attended 42/42 were male).
      4) Someone's gender isn't set by the skin around their body, or the organs they have that are different. It is in their brain, in their sense of self. The author of the 10 page paper doesn't understand this. Diversity in this context errs on the side of material judgement rather than true understanding of gender.

      Last edited 07/08/17 2:29 pm

        Firefighters, bricklayers, road construction, these are 99.9% male. Somehow there is no social plea for women to be bricklayers, or for more women to hang drywall.

        in my brain i am dog! woof! i sense my self is dog! woof! i am dog! woof woof!

      Because when you hire the same person, with the same background and education, several times over, you tend to get the several copies of the same solution to a problem.

      Everyone's different, yes, but if i can have more variation without sacrificing quality, then why not? Diversity isn't necessarily colour or body shape, it's important even without those markers.

      Particularly when hiring people straight out of uni, what's the real differentiator in merit? If you're qualified, and (pleasantly) surprise me in the interview process, you have more of a shot than being 0.01% more impressive on paper.

    Funny to watch this debate going on in 2017. This stuff has already been debated, discussed, written, there is a library of books on these subjects. My few bits of theories below why we had this episode at Google:

    1. Google is trying to pull a publicity stunt by bringing up some phony discussion in order to distract the ongoing legal case against Google for discrimination. The result may mean billions of dollars in fines as well as class suits against Google and also against the entire Silicon Valley.

    2. This stupid idiot “no feelings” engineer might have made advances to some women working in Google and might have been refused. He is so angry he pens a manifesto.

    3. He was keeping these thoughts to himself all this time during the Obama time. Now that someone is leading the country with similar thoughts and he knows he won’t receive any shaming from the current government, he is standing up as if he is bearing the flag of the French Revolution. He has no idea what standing up to power means.

      It does feel like sexism in a lot of men is like a ticking time bomb. Given the right enviroment and impetus, it goes off. It's definitely disturbing to look around at most male colleagues, friends, family and wonder what their real thoughts about women are.

    Has anyone noticed that some of the most vocal people about this issue don't study CS or want to code, they chose gender studies instead...

      I'm a man that has worked as a developer for the last 12 years and none of these things are true. If these grumpy male devs smile a bit, loose their negative attitude and act like human beings to their co workers, they can worry less about loosing their jobs.

        I hope you code better than you spell mate

    Gizmodo's decision to label this as a "screed" only reinforces the claims made. Google's response was "shut up".

    Danielle Brown even said "Part of building an open, inclusive environment means fostering a culture in which those with alternative views, including different political views, feel safe sharing their opinions...” - but only for those views she agrees with, right?

    The memo openly embraces diversity, but objects to how it's being practiced. We’re losing our ability to talk about sex, sexuality, race and diversity of all kinds nationwide. The left is very shouty about tolerance and safety... as long as you don't disagree with them. Even if this unnamed engineer is wrong, there should be a loigical, rational answer that explains why he's wrong, not just :
    I found that advanced incorrect assumptions about gender," Brown wrote. "I’m not going to link to it here as it’s not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages.”

    Some of the comments, especially from those left-oriented are just a confirmation of what the guy said and are a curisity in their own. The Right is greedy and many times crosses ethical lines, but the Left and similars are purely sociopathic, they have no lines to cross because they establish where those lines are. Gramsci and the Frankfurt school have done a fine job, by infesting the minds of the young in their formative years. We are reaping the fruits just now, and the result is only death and madness. Nothing that the Left and any Revolutionar Policy has done in power really built anything, just a buch of corpses.

    It's wrong to call his essay anti-diversity. It goes to show how many media-outlets don't even read the shit they post about in favour of just calling the guy sexist.

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