Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Technology | By Timothy Carter

BBCI: Google cancels all-staff diversity meeting

BBCI: Google cancels all-staff diversity meeting

A white male reporter told a recently fired Google engineer that white men simply aren't "biologically suited to writing memos about diversity". His words came hours after he canceled a company-wide meeting on gender issues. "I want you to know there's a place for you in this industry", he said. And if you're one of those aggrieved white guys out there harboring the odd misconception that your voice is being unfairly stifled by "political correctness", say it 15 more times, because it just doesn't seem like this concept has sunk in.

Christina Lee, 13, who participated in the Technovation challenge, said at first she was taken aback by what she heard about the memo, but after talking to some Google employees about it, she realized it was important to have that discussion about those issues and have an open mind.

In a memo to staff on Thursday a half-hour before the meeting was to start, CEO Sundar Pichai announced that they had canceled it, saying, "Googlers are writing in, concerned about their safety and anxious they may be "outed" publicly for asking a question in the Town Hall". And some are anxious that you can not speak out at work freely.

According to Recode, in a letter to employees, Pichai said that holding the meeting would potentially bring harm to staff who have had their names and personal information published on sites in a practice known as "doxxing".

James Damore, an ex-Google employee who wrote a controversial memo arguing the merits of gender and diversity programs, has interviewed with two right-wing YouTubers.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Google has abruptly canceled a company-wide meeting, scheduled for Thursday afternoon, that was meant to address employee questions about the company's diversity policies. "Googlers are writing in, concerned about their safety and anxious they may be "outed" publicly for asking a question in the Town Hall", the memo reads. Should you feel free to speak up? As questions for the town hall have been leaked publicly, many employees were afraid that their queries could be construed as a public outing of their sentiments regarding diversity at Google.

While the consensus within Google is that some portions of the memo are acceptable to discuss and are protected speech, portions of it violated Google's code of conduct and crossed the line by advancing gender stereotypes in the workplace.

Earlier Thursday, WIRED reported that Google employees had submitted more than 520 questions for the planned session, some critical of Damore's reasoning and conclusions, and others concerned that he had been fired for speaking his mind. The author also alleged that employees who stand politically orthodox are discriminated against, and that achieving ideological equality should be a priority.

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