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Google Senior Engineer commits diversity heresy

Google Senior Engineer commits diversity heresy

Questions whether gender gap in high tech is caused by discrimination, furious reaction is just what you’d expect.

There is no religious doctrine as unassailable as the claim that differences in achievement in areas where women and/or racial/ethnic minorities are UNDERrepresented is caused by systemic sexism/racism etc.

That religious doctrine, however, never is applied to fields in which women and/or racial/ethnic minorities are OVERrepresented.

The claim that differences in outcome are caused by discrimination drives the “diversity” agenda on campuses and at companies. That one might support diversity as a goal, yet question whether the problem is systemic discrimination and whether MORE discrimination really is the answer, is considered heresy and is punishable by firing, harassment, and on campuses, being shouted down.

Christina Hoff Sommers has been at the forefront of arguing that many if not most UNDERrepresentation in STEM is not the result of discrimination, but of choices different groups make for a variety of reasons. Here is one of her Factual Feminist videos on the topic:

For this heresy, Hoff Sommers is attacked, both verbally and physically, when she speaks on campus.

Another heresy just took place, at Google.

A Google Senior Engineer circulated internally at the company a 10-page memo addressing diversity and why there might be an achievement gap between men and women for the tech skills valued by Google. He did not address diversity gaps generally, only in High Tech (which he defined as Software Engineering). So the gap at issue was in Software Engineering, and that’s what his memo addressed.

People went crazy, grossly exaggerating the nature of the memo.

While the memo is being regularly described as “anti-diversity,” a plain reading of the document shows that is not accurate. The Senior Engineer does not question diversity as a goal, but does question the explanations given as to why it is not being achieved in High Tech.

Gizmodo uses the “anti-diversity” verbiage, as does virtually every media report, 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.

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 Senior Engineer’s argument is worth actually reading. Here is one section of the memo:

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 cognizant 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.

There are other sections dealing with life decisions and motivations that differ between the sexes. Despite the media headlines, the Senior Engineer made clear that he was not “anti-diversity”:

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).

And then the Senior Engineer touched upon some “concrete suggestions,” including (horrors!) lowering hostility toward conservatives as a means of fostering open debate on these issues:

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.

Once the firestorm started, the Senior Engineer offered the following:

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.

Needless to say, Google is expressing shock and condemnation in an internal email, which reads in part (via the Gizmodo article):


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. “ ….

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.

That last sentence demonstrates why questioning the assumptions underlying diversity initiatives is so dangerous to employment — one stands at risk of being accused of violating company anti-discrimination policies merely by questioning whether there is in fact discrimination. That accusation could be a career ending. Which is why people just shut up.

While the Senior Engineer is under widespread attack, there are some people coming to his defense:

This memo could be used as a launching point for an open and fact-based discussion of why some group succeed in the Software Engineering field (and some other high tech fields) more than others. If you can’t identify the actual problem, you can’t meaningfully discuss solutions.

I’m guessing that that Google Senior Engineer soon will be a former Google Senior Engineer, will be outed on the internet (he already has been, but I’m not using his name), will be mercilessly harassed and doxxed, and will be driven underground. Because that’s how diversity heretics are treated.


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Fascists always eat their own.

It won’t be long before they roast the likes of a failure like obama for dinner. (Hey – the fool did blow the opportunity of the left’s lifetime by trusting the entire momentum of left’s charge forward in this country to the grubby hands of Hillary Clinton.) When they do roast him, they won’t find too much meat on those bones – nor enough brains to make a small dish of Maghaz:

Two points that you missed about this situation.

The first is that that this memo was not widely distributed.
Google’s brand spanking new diversity officer distributed it to much of the company with a note saying in effect “what a pig”.

The second that the Gizmodo article is incorrect. That is not the memo. They redacted the 30+ references in the original.

This seems to be something similar to what Jordan Peterson has been saying.

    randian in reply to RodFC. | August 7, 2017 at 4:39 am

    It’s not just similar to Jordan Peterson, it uses the exact same phraseology as Peterson. It’s likely the author is a fan of Peterson, which fact I doubt he or she could publicly admit at a company like Google.

    artichoke in reply to RodFC. | August 7, 2017 at 7:59 am

    It’s a wet dream, but what if the author lasts longer at Google than Danielle? His work was of far higher quality, and doesn’t Google respect talent and quality?

    JohnC in reply to RodFC. | August 7, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    As soon as Danielle starts talking the entire tone of the discussion changes.
    Fellow employees of Google, Like you I was really really upset by all the mean and totally not nice stuff that nasty memo said. Now, LET’S ALL WORK AS ONE AND FIND THE HERETIC! BURN HIM! BURN HIM!

That should have read: “I’m Danielle, Google’s brand new VP of rent-seeking…”

Next these diversity advocates will be calling for diversity in giving birth. That women give birth to 100% of all babies is clearly sexist and something should be done about it.

The leftists are intolerant of diversity and intolerant of tolerance. Who knew?

They are tolerant of the one official narrative.

This Google engineer needs to study the French Revolution to see things work out for those who dare question the narrative.

    rdmdawg in reply to TX-rifraph. | August 7, 2017 at 8:33 am

    ‘Intolerant’ is a bit of an understatement, these people are positively puritanical. The growing Trumpian Reformation must be answered, and Google’s VP of Orthodoxy will lead the new inquisition.

If you don’t like Google’s policy, don’t work there. Take your talent and vote with your feet.

    Old Patzer in reply to Andy. | August 7, 2017 at 1:27 am

    Good luck getting a job in corporate America unless you bow down before their idols.

      The door swings both ways. If you hate the policies of these companies so much- go start your own. Hobby Lobby / Chick Filet have a right to their policy, so do the firms run by mooonbats.

      These companies also have a lot of other policies I don’t agree with. Working at one of them does not abide you to bow down to anything. Let me frame it another way; these same companies have prayer rooms for Muslims…. not exactly the demographic that goes along with the BS the moonbats sling on the women and tranny front and who also happen to be some of the biggest racists I’ve met.

      Granted I’m 99% sure Amazon, Google, and starbucks have openly hostile work environments to conservatives and I support any of them with my dollars (or my talent).

Notice how nobody complains about female under-representation as plumbers and garbage collectors? This is about power and status, not equality.

When I read the memo, I sensed that the person was going through the change from progressive to conservative, though he claims to be a classical liberal.

One quote is interesting – “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.”

Wiki has this definition – “Conscientiousness is the personality trait of being thorough, careful, or vigilant. Conscientiousness implies a desire to do a task well. Conscientious people are efficient and organized as opposed to easy-going and disorderly.”

So, were all those progressive, creative software techs NOT conscientious in writing the software? That would explain the quality issue. And, is he admitting that Google is reaching a point where it is a “mature” company, needing more maintenance? Is Google losing its edge in the tech industry?

Need to check the concentration of Google stock in the mutual funds that I own….

    healthguyfsu in reply to Liz. | August 7, 2017 at 2:51 am

    Truth is I think he’s getting wider criticism because of this cardinal sin you mentioned (the interesting quote) — humanizing conservatism and assigning it a high value. Nothing will piss off the mainstream liberal machine more than this one. The other accusations are just window-dressing for their justifications to execute their next heretic.

    Also, I bought google stock earlier this year in addition to my ETFs that have some (and it’s been good to me…I picked it because of the FAANG stocks, it had a relatively grounded P/E).

    I’m thinking about selling too. I wanted to ride with them after the EU pulled their fascist extortionist BS last month, but I’m watching their next moves very carefully to get an idea of the future of the company.

    JohnC in reply to Liz. | August 7, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    He is still hoping to reason with his coworkers. Problem is, most of his coworkers belong to Google’s corporate culture of Progressivism. And as that culture now functions as a quasi-religion his appeal appears to their eyes to be the highest of blasphemy.
    He will be found and cast out. Hopefully, people whose beliefs align with his will be there to great him and welcome him home.

    Insufficiently Sensitive in reply to Liz. | August 8, 2017 at 10:33 am

    though he claims to be a classical liberal

    A classical liberal is called that precisely because of tolerance for differing viewpoints.

    Which the writer of this questioning essay about Google’s diversity policy has in spades (it’s no such thing as an ‘anti-diversity screed’), and which his anti-intellectual critics reject because they mindlessly know they’re right.

    The media reports on this event have been a nationwide festival of dishonesty. Once upon a time, educated readers of the essay would have addressed and rebutted its points, if they could. It’s clear that the tiny population of educated people at Google are now laying low, and submitting to the bigoted dogmas of Those Who Write The Checks.

This is all consistent SJW behavior.
The first thing they do is find some issue over which they can become enraged.
They then proceed to determine how that issue should be viewed and what the world and “science” says about the issue. In this step, the SJW world could care less about what real data says or what real world experience and/or experts say. They cherry pick the results they want to hear (and if none is available then they comission highly flawed research to support their perspective) and act as this is the only real data that can be trusted on the subject. All other data is accused of being flawed, being generated by “tobacco companies”, or whatever.
The next step is to ignore or even attack those who dare to say anything other than the company line. Even if what is said or written supports most of the SJW agenda, they will still viciously attack those actual or perceived dissenters. Doxxing, physical attacks, getting them fired, or whatever, is the first step, but the SJW world is really not satisfied until the person and/or their views are effectively killed.
What remains so utterly bizarre about all of this is their blind devotion to their cause no matter how badly disproved it is. Additionally, to them the results always justifies the means while their battlefield is littered with one way streets where they are allowed certain tactics and such that the other side is forbidden to use – in the name of fairness of course.
The net result is programmed insanity they should alienate everyone including themselves. While those who are less committed are alienated and leave disillusioned, the remaining SJWs are even more intense, unwavering, and downright insane in their views, agenda, and unwillingness to listen to anyone. They are the true zealots and their process selects for these continually. Work for Google? I’d rather eat my own foot.

Why did I think of Mitch McConnell when I read, “Biological males that were castrated at birth…”?

    artichoke in reply to snopercod. | August 7, 2017 at 8:12 am

    I don’t know, but it was polio not castration. And he’s gotten all the nominees confirmed including Gorsuch.

Google is evil. Don’t use their products, there are alternatives.

This Google engineer has experienced how the devil reacts when one tries to revoke the pact he made when he started to work there. The devil will not return your soul unharmed.

Yes, women are not given the respect they deserve. That said, they will just have to work harder and smarter.
Stamping one’s foot and making demands is counter productive

Danielle the Diversity Diva done f’ed up.

She caused the manifesto to have wide distribution, now out in the wild. And she showed that her logical argument pales in comparison to the one in the manifesto.

Look for emergency cleanup activities to contain the damage to the Narrative.

    Insufficiently Sensitive in reply to artichoke. | August 8, 2017 at 10:44 am

    And she showed that her logical argument pales in comparison to the one in the manifesto.

    She tries to sound logical, but comes to grief with her big-butted pair of sentences at the end:

    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.

    She pretends that ‘working alongside the principles’ doesn’t mean that the discourse must YIELD TO everything written after the big BUT. But it’s plain that she does know that BUT trumps all that goes before it, and her purpose is as clear as Genrikh Yagoda’s was en route to dealing the offensive writer nine grams of political correction.

The trouble with Google hiring a lot of really smart engineers is that eventually some of them will see through the diversity bullshit.

MaxWebXperienZ | August 7, 2017 at 4:51 pm

I’m a male. I’ve worked in a department where the lead was a sociopath bully, running a business out of his office, barely aware of his department. There was an engineer that threatened me with a beating… etc. If I was a woman I’d probably blame it on misogyny but it was just complete moron-jerks doing what they do..

It can be tough when the actors ignore the script and ad lib.

As a holder of a Bachelor of Science Computer Science degree, I can tell you first hand that the quality of instruction by the female instructors equaled the male instructors. Gender was not a factor in course content or delivery. I even had two courses where each was taught by a husband (adjunct faculty) and wife (tenured faculty).

However, on the first day of each course, it was easily observed that the male student to female student ratio was extremely high (higher than 4:1). This was also observed in the genders of the graduates of the program.

    Insufficiently Sensitive in reply to Another Ed. | August 8, 2017 at 10:57 am

    the quality of instruction by the female instructors equaled the male instructors.

    No argument there. Brilliant women have been involved in computers right from the start.

    But you might notice that she’s not part of a team under heavy pressure to get a large, reliably working software package out the door by next week, which is more the situation at Google. If she were, would the personal interactions with her fellow workers require a more hard-nosed approach to the job than she uses in teaching, and would she possibly blame her setbacks and frustrations on the gender of assertive teammates?

The liberal dictate: Thou shall have no Choice before Pro-Choice.

Sex gap. Sex is male or female. Gender is a normal distribution of masculine and feminine physical and mental characteristics centered on sex.