U.S. technology giant Google has fired a male engineer who wrote a memo questioning the need for gender diversity programs in the industry.
In a 10-page internal memo titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” James Damore asserted that so few women were employed in the technology field because they “prefer jobs in social and artistic areas,” while men are more inclined to become computer programmers — a fact he said was due to “biological causes.”
The memo created a firestorm after it was leaked on social media, reviving the debate over the lack of racial and gender diversity in the tech world. Google is under investigation by the U.S. Labor Department over whether it pays women less than men, while claims of sexual harassment at the ride-sharing firm Uber Technologies has triggered a change in management.
Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive officer, blasted Damore’s memo in an email for “advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”
Damore revealed he had been dismissed in an email sent to various news outlets. He says he has filed a complaint with the federal National Labor Relations Board accusing Google of trying to shame him into silence.