Google diversity push attacked by one of its own

One of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies is being attacked from within for being a liberal bastion.

A screed titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” that’s making the rounds at Google says the company’s diversity initiatives are discriminatory, and chalks up the gender gap at the company to the biological differences between men and women.

One of the writer’s bullet points: “Women, on average, have more 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.”

Get tech news in your inbox weekday mornings. Sign up for the free Good Morning Silicon Valley newsletter.

The 10-page manifesto in all its glory can be found on Gizmodo. The outrage over it can be found at your fingertips — all over social media and the internet. But its writer — who by many Googlers’ accounts is a male engineer who we haven’t been able to identify and therefore can’t reach for comment — also is getting virtual high-fives.

When reached by SiliconBeat Sunday, a Google spokesman said an internal memo from Danielle Brown, the company’s new VP of diversity, would serve as an official statement from the company. Her memo was obtained by Motherboard. The spokesman also referred to another executive’s internal Google+ post that has been widely circulated.

Ari Barlogh, whose Crunchbase profile lists him as vice president of storage infrastructure products, reportedly said in an internal Google+ post: “One of the aspects of the post that troubled me deeply was the bias inherent in suggesting that most women, or men, feel or act a certain way… Building an open, inclusive environment is core to who we are, and the right thing to do. ‘Nuff said.” The employee who wrote the manifesto reports to Barlogh.

“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,” Brown wrote. “But that discourse needs to work alongside the principles of equal employment found in our Code of Conduct, policies, and anti-discrimination laws.”

The brouhaha, which became public after several Google employees started tweeting about the manifesto Friday night, is quite a welcome for former Intel executive Brown, who said she started only a couple of weeks ago.

“Like many of you, I found that (the document) advanced incorrect assumptions about gender,” she said in the memo. “I’m not going to link to it here as it’s not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages.”

The writer complains that Google group-think has done harm, and that the company needs to “stop alienating conservatives.

“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,” the writer said.

TGIF is the weekly companywide meeting. By shaming, the writer might also mean the unconscious-bias training Google is implementing. The writer questions its value.

“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.”

But while it’s true that Google publicly champions the hiring of women and minorities to diversify its workforce, which like many others in the corporate world continues to be largely white and male, the tech giant was actually accused by the Department of Labor of routinely paying women less. The government is asking the company to provide detailed employee data, which Google is fighting.

Of course, the writer of the manifesto has something to say about gender and pay:

“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.”

According to Google’s latest diversity report, its overall workforce is 69 percent male and 31 percent female. And women are even more under-represented in tech and leadership roles at the tech giant: 80 percent male and 20 percent female, and 75 percent male and 25 percent female, respectively.

Here’s a sampling of the back-and-forth over the manifesto.

Meanwhile, Yonatan Zunger, a former Google engineer, wrote in a Medium post that the writer of the manifesto — who urges Google to “de-emphasize empathy,” doesn’t understand engineering.

Essentially, engineering is all about cooperation, collaboration, and empathy for both your colleagues and your customers,” Zunger writes. “All of these traits which the manifesto described as ‘female’ are the core traits which make someone successful at engineering.”

Zunger goes on to say: “What you just did was incredibly stupid and harmful. You just put out a manifesto inside the company arguing that some large fraction of your colleagues are at root not good enough to do their jobs, and that they’re only being kept in their jobs because of some political ideas.”

Photo: Google employees ride bicycles to and from the campus along Shorebird Way in Mountain View on June 24, 2014. (Patrick Tehan/Bay Area News Group)


Tags: , , , ,


Share this Post

  • Left Unsaid

    Department of labor statistics show year after year that men work longer hours and more years at their careers. Women take more time off, have 30% higher health care costs and retire two years earlier on average.

  • Retired man

    Google has peaked. Now concerned with PC culture and diversity issues, likely at the expense of getting product out the door, they will lose the ability to stay at the top of the heap of tech companies. Top talent will shy away from an employer who is more concerned about race gender and culture over engineering achievement. Those who sign on will look like pajama boy

  • Walking Fool

    How about hiring the most qualified?

    If blacks and latinos want to get in tech, one has to start young and study a lot of math and CS, then study more math and CS in high school and college. That’s how you increase your chances of getting into tech.

    Social engineering it will only bring chaos and resentment from people who are highly qualified. They will always say so and so got in not because of the quality of their skills, but because of the color of their skin.

    • Chuck Martin

      I suppose it doesn’t matter to you that blacks and Latinos (and women) have for decades been discouraged, almost exclusively by white men, from starting “young and study a lot of math and CS, then study more math and CS in high school and college.” And many even today still are.

      Sorry that actual facts don’t match your narrative.

      • Jon Jones

        It’s always those mean old white men, huh?

        • KimJongicrat

          I’m convinced that liberals that hate their own race/sex have been picked on and trashed in high school by your stereo typical “jock” quarterback wearing the school jacket. Like BIFF in back to the Future.

          30 years later they have a hero in Bernie Sanders and racist anti-white organizations. I’ll bet you this guy prefers halaaal over a good BBQ.

          • Halal, Kosher, who gives a damn?

            Oh, except for the fact that the folks who keep Kosher aren’t intent on blowing up children in Manchester.

      • Walking Fool

        Bottom line, cultures that value education do well.

        Sure, black and latin culture claim they value education, but when push comes to shove, it’s all talk and no action. Yet when you look at Asian immigrants as a whole, they come speaking no English but by the next generation, they are already in college and working in tech.

        If you want to place blame, you can blame it or their own culture and parenting skills. It’s just cooler to have bling and spinning wheels with rap music than studying math and CS.

        Discouraged by white men? There was plenty of prejudice against Asians and yet, they focused on their education so they can have a career instead if a McJob. Why? Because they value education. One has to take responsibility for their actions.

        Seems like your nonsense narrative is supporting the old status quo of blaming it on, Da Man. The more you blame the man, the further blacks and latinos will fall back. Asians don’t blame it on Da Man. They work their way forward despite the obstacles.

        • Dave

          Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner

        • Well reasoned and well said sir.

      • KimJongicrat

        Spent much time wearing a black hoody burning down Berekley?

      • moth0

        White men have been discouraged, almost exclusively by white men, from studying computers, math and science! Do you think being called a “nerd” or “geek”, being pushed into lockers, underwear run up the flagpole, etc. are actions of encouragement? Men pursued geeky hobbies because they want to, not because anybody encouraged or discouraged them. Ham Radio, Model Trains, Computers, D&D, these were all hobbies that labelled you an outcast of society especially in the 1980s and yet they did it because they wanted to and were interested in it.

      • And your narrative is one of pathetic victimology.

        Show me one single documented instance of anyone being discouraged by white people, and I’ll stand right with you and address it.

        Sadly, you cannot. The people that dissuade your firends of color are their own people, not the whites.

        We could not care less about the color of a coders skin.

        Get over your guilt.

  • There is no academic or other proof that Diversity for the sake of Diversity has ANY benefit to a company.

    Sure, it provides a job for yet another member of the Pink Ghetto and makes everyone feel really great about they are supporting diversity.

    While all this is feel good self-stroking, it contributes NOTHING to the bottom line or to customer satisfaction.

    • Chuck Martin

      Actually, there is, but don’t let facts get in the way of your narrative.

      • Then please oh PLEASE post a link to such data. Rather than just claim that it is there.

        • callmebc

          You would think an article about “Google” would give you a clue, Sherlock:

          • U*mm, no I’m not the one making the claim there “Lestrade”.

          • Wen there, looked, found no facts, just opinions with NO References to specific companies or results.

            My initial request stands.

          • callmebc

            Of course it does — there are reasons for why right wingers and neo-libertarians are right wingers and neo-libertarians in the first place.

          • SB_MAGA

            Yet another shoddy statistic presented as a fact. They found that “2-D diverse” companies are more profitable and immediately concluded that diversity caused that.

            Correlation does not equal causation.

            Just one example of a completely different cause for this correlation: what if diversity evangelists were mostly going to already-profitable companies, pushing to make them more diverse? Makes sense since everyone loves to be in the company of successful people so why wouldn’t they focus on big tech companies.

          • callmebc

            Yeah, yeah — I only see that you have a severe case of MDS (Maga Derangement Syndrome). Not that any of this stuff will ever penetrate your MDS, but the conclusion in that Harvard report is hardly an outlier:

          • Took me a moment, but you are apparently Railing against Make America Great Again (MAGA).

            For a little while I thought you were actually talking sense.

          • callmebc

            More like “Moronic Americans Going Apesh*t.”

          • Whatever, you diminish your credibility with every word you write here.

            Typical “liberal” calling names rather than presenting facts.

            My condolences to your parents

          • callmebc

            Well, technically I did presents facts (you know, links to a couple of supportive studies), but you being a typical right wing troll, you feel that your delusional, unsupported opinion outweighs any study. My condolences to your former teachers, your current co-workers, and anyone who has to stand behind you in line at a convenience store.

      • Still waiting for sources PLEASE do provide them?

      • KimJongicrat

        Please point to the facts. And do not send me any links to the Rainbow PUSH coalition led by the unreverend Jesse “PUSH” Jackson.

        Race pimping and village burning at it’s finest.

        • Gai Chakravarthy

          its, not it’s

          • KimJongicrat

            When you are typing on a mobile and battling the autocorrect… Sometimes it’s ok to not give 2 spits.

    • Left Unsaid

      Robert Putnam, an established, credentialed researcher looked at diversity and found lower levels of trust among the more diverse communities. He disavowed his OWN research, saying roughly “well it will get better later on if we manage it better”. He was probably terrified of the lynch mobs of progressive stalinists ready to hang anyone who disagrees with liberal mantras.

  • Jon Jones

    Diversity is vastly overrated.

    • Chuck Martin

      Not according to actual facts.

      • Jon Jones

        Even “facts” get spun these days.

      • PLEASE, share your facts!!

        Oh, apparently there are NONE, just your opinion.

      • SB_MAGA

        Shoddily assembled pieces of statistical data form a hypothesis, which is not even close to a fact. The Educated Left forgot how to distinguish these two completely different things.

  • Fake news Trumped real news

    Google and Facebook attracted one-fifth of global advertising spending last year. Online advertising has overtaken television to become the world’s largest ad medium. If women are under represented in tech positions (only about 50% of Google Employees), then they should be over represented in sales and administrative positions. Unless of course they have a culture of subjugating women. Maybe that’s why they like the South Asians.

  • Boots

    “I’m not going to link to it here as it’s not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages…” says the new lady. Why… you might be forced to get outside your group think comfort zone and actually think?

    “Essentially, engineering is all about cooperation, collaboration, and empathy for both your colleagues and your customers,” Zunger writes. “All of these traits which the manifesto described as ‘female’ are the core traits which make someone successful at engineering.” So then why don’t women dominate engineering? Is Google crushing them under their chauvinist thumbs?

    Fact… Google sets the algorythyms to hide material they politically don’t want you to see. The best example… agreeing to implement Sharia for Islam by removing or hiding articles critical of Islam… even if true. That is the crux of the problem at Google… diversity in everything except thought.

    • Chuck Martin

      To answer your first question, because anyone who wants to read it can easily find it, using…wait for it…Google!

      To answer your second question, because women have historically been systematically discouraged from getting educated in and working in engineering (and science) disciplines, mostly by the white male patriarchy that has long been firmly ensconced in those industries.

      Finally, your “fact” isn’t a fact at all. It’s just repeating the typical alt-right outrage lie.

    • SB_MAGA

      You have to understand that SJWs _always lie_. They’re willing to call a frog a horse if needed, just to paint an emotional picture that will get all the neurotic people hooked on their politics.

      Please, if you personally know an engineer go and ask them what they think of the following statement: “Engineering is all about cooperation, collaboration and empathy for both your colleagues and your customers.”

      I beg you to do that and you will hopefully see the truth.

  • JoeCommentor

    Technically, it is not engineering, it is electrical circuit design or computer algorithm design. When you build a bridge, building or dam let us know…

    • Dave

      I have a degree in computer engineering but know absolutely nothing about fluids, thermodynamics, and optics. I skipped those and instead studied semiconductors. learned real good thanks to university edumacation! Am good productive person to society!

  • Saleh Admas

    Asians are smart. They are capable of math and science. Hispanics and blacks can’t do what they do. Hispanic enrollment in computer science is high, but guess what?, the graduation rate is abysmal. Math and science is not easy.

    • callmebc

      Being genuinely creative and innovative is harder and at least as important, so how does that affect your “rankings,” bright eyes?

      • Saleh Admas

        rankings..just look at the hiring data or better yet you dummy, go to any tech company and will see lotta Asians, some whites and absolutely very little blacks and Hispanics. because they can’t do the job! They don’t have the capacity.

        • callmebc

          Nicely cowardly way to skip over my point, you delusional bigot. And you’re also rather poor at research — lack of blacks and Hispanics at tech companies has mostly to do with years of discrimination:

          Also, by your “reasoning,” whenever I have to deal with buggy, insecure, and poorly designed software, should I mostly blame Asians and partly whites for being such chronic screw-ups?

          • Dave

            I would have chalked it up to cultural differences in upbringing as opposed to outright discrimination but then you just had to throw sensitibility out the window with that last accusatory remark effectively killing any real discussion from happening. Nicely done

          • callmebc

            Don’t care. People like you will shred all reasoning and rationality to defend any sort of indefensible, willfully ignorant position. I personally can’t wait for companies to start to aggressively using bots to replace back-end developers — I’m pretty sure which ideological groups among them will be the most easily replaceable.

          • Dave

            You and yours?

          • callmebc

            Sorry, but…no.

          • Dave

            Thanks for the correction. I feel like I learned something today and it’s all thanks to you. Yay!

          • Saleh Admas

            But if they use bots, what about your black and latino friends?? I think you don’t like Asians.

          • callmebc

            I’m beginning to think that some of you trolls are actually bots: you “guys” are already pretty near interchangeable given the pattern of irrationality your posts are when viewed collectively.

          • Saleh Admas

            Let me get this straight..Asians come here with no English skills, fleeing war.. yet somehow they make it. You are a liberal douche bag.

          • callmebc

            I’m sorry — I don’t speak Derangedlish.

          • callmebc

            I’m sorry — I don’t speak Derangedlish.

          • Walking Fool

            No, you just don’t want to face truth. No surprise there.

          • Bob Williams

            To prove discrimination, one must prove that blacks and Latinos were passed over despite been well qualified while these companies spent thousands of dollars on work visas for foreigners. I don’t see how any company is that stupid.

          • callmebc

            It’s rather obvious that you “don’t see” much at all. But you are pretty good at incomprehension — I’ll give you that.

          • Bob Williams

            Do you think greedy capitalists will spend thousands on work visas when citizens of color are technically competent?

            PS: I happen to believe that companies should invest in developing human capital here – such as providing technology and mentorship to students of color so they can fill these jobs and innovate.

          • callmebc

            You can stop proving my point(s) at any time.

      • Walking Fool

        Of course it’s important.

        Having said that, then where are these creative black and latin coders in tech? I certainly think they are capable, so where are they?

        I think we don’t see them because they are not studying the hard maths. If we’re having this conversation today, that means the black and latino kids should have started studying math 18 years ago to be ready for today’s jobs.

        • callmebc

          Hmmm….18 years ago….how were things then:

          Also studies have shown that the children of college-educated parents are much more likely to do well in school:

          So now you have to go back at least another generation. So let’s say if a current day student was born in 1999, and that his/her parents were both 30 at the time, that would mean the parents would have been born in 1969 — just a few years after the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

          So the parents would have mostly grown up during the 70’s — and how were those years, especially in regards to education if you were black? Well:

          I have this pet theory that true intelligence is awareness of context, and that people who are unaware of context are basically genuinely stupid, regardless of whatever trained “pet tricks” they can do.

          • Walking Fool

            So this means the black and latino kids today should be studying twins of math and cs and get qualified to go into tech 20 years+ from now.

          • callmebc

            Gawd….are you yet another friggin’ bot? Your response is utterly devoid of context and basically irrational, yet still grammatically correct.

          • Walking Fool

            What is so complicated?

            Even a Walking Fool like me know if you want to get into tech, you have to study math and CS from a very young age, then study more math and CS in grade school, HS, then college. Math and CS are hard subjects so the more you study, the better you become.

            What tech companies are doing today is trying to bring in diversity, but did these “diverse” people they want to hire study math and CS starting 20 years ago, so they’re equipped to be hired today? You cannot social engineer “diversity” if the person ain’t qualified.

            All this “diversity” PC talk is a joke to many engineers who did study the hard maths and sciences to get to where they’re at today. They started their math studies when they were little kids and has never looked back.

            It’s not just tech. If you want to be good at something, you need to start when young. Look at Lebron or Curry. You think they just started playing ball 5 years ago? And speaking of “diversity,” where are the Chinese NFL and NBA players (besides Lin)? Why is there no diversity there? Care to explain why?

          • callmebc

            Yet another very bot-like response. There were 4 links in my earlier, and very detailed reply — if you’re not a bot, then you should have no problem telling me the contextual contents of any one of them. If you are a bot, you will avoid doing this with a nonrational excuse.

          • Walking Fool

            Oh please.

            Yes, there is plenty of prejudice, and yes there’s still a lot today. I know. I am a person of color who legally immigrated here. I had my share of racism but I don’t look back. I stay focus and keep on moving forward.

            Yes I read all the links and aware of the articles. Bottom line, those articles reinforces the fact that in 2017, you cannot social engineer diversity into tech companies, the foundation is not there to bring “diversity” into tech, not yet.

            This means starting today, parents and schools need to tell the little ones they need to study math now, and study more math and CS in junior high, and even harder math in HS and the really complex math models in college. If this is followed thru, then in about 10 years, there will be a ton of black and latino kids who easily qualify and have a career in the tech, as opposed to McJob and tech companies will be hungry to hire them.

            Your future is what you make it. If take responsibility for your actions, such as studying hard, you will find a way to achieve success. If you keep on looking back and blaming Da Man and play victim, you will be stuck in mud and will never achieve success. Look at the Asian kids. They may not be hip and cool, but they stay with their academics and stay out of trouble. Many come here speaking no English and in one generation, they are in college and already working in tech and have a meaningful career.

            So how do we get diversity in the NBA and NFL? It seems like it’s all black and white people. Should they set up a “Diversity Chief” to bring Chinese into the mentioned sports?

          • callmebc

            Bye-bye, bot.

          • Walking Fool

            Well yes of course. When truth doesn’t fit your narrative, you have no choice but to flee. No surprise there.

            Can’t even answer my question on how to bring Asians into the NFL and NBA.

            Bottom line, people read your nonsense and nobody takes it seriously.

  • Str8faith

    Tech industry is unjustly censoring social media and pushing an anti American agenda. HB-1 Visas are destroying the USA. Silicon Valley is over run with foreigners gearing web content to benefit the destruction of our country. Taking our jobs and affordable housing as well as overcrowding the roadways with excessive traffic. Millions of dollars is now needed to make our infastructure safe and travelable. The congestion is unbearable.

  • Jack

    He makes sense.


    Please, if you personally know an engineer or two go and ask them what they think of the following statement: “Engineering is all about cooperation, collaboration and empathy for both your colleagues and your customers.”

    I beg you to do that and you will hopefully see the truth.

  • Mendota2

    Discrimination against conservatives is still discrimination.

  • Skin color is part of the qualification? Given that this is Google which dumped millions of its dollar for HilLIARy, no surprise the employee there will be censored, silenced, and terminated.

  • Dave

    How ironic the percentage of men to women working at Google is exactly the same percentage of homeless men to homeless women living in San Jose according to the San Jose homeless census for 2017, which reports 69 percent of homeless in San Jose are men while only 31 percent are women. I guess political correctness can’t fix that statistic.