Google Bias isn’t Right


Google CEO Sundar Pichai (Photo: Eric Risberg, AP)

I’m the father of a brilliant, little girl who loves math and has a strong interest in tech. And I don’t want any barriers in her way.  So when I heard there was an employee at Google who was fired for writing a “memo that women are not as qualified as men.” [my summary of the news bites], it got my attention. This morning I heard a TV news reporter describe it as an “Anti-Diversity Manifesto”. So, it was a Manifesto now?!

Ok, I thought, I want to read the actual document to see what was in it. What I found was far from it. It’s just a short analysis/discussion paper, not some “manifesto.” Here are some excerpts:

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 at 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 behavior to thrive. Recent updates to Perf may be doing this to an extent, but maybe there’s more we can do.
I hardly think these words are a Sexist Manifesto? Maybe I’m the one who’s biased? But I think you owe it to yourself to read it yourself and form your own opinion.
Yes, there are assholes and bigots who work in tech (just like everywhere.) I believe there are companies that have a “bro culture” biased against women. But two wrongs do not make a right. 
It’s a terrible example of somebody who was fired because they were “vilified” out of proportion to the content of their writing or their actions. And if you agree that it reads FAR FROM the screed that many of the news outlets make it out to be, this should serve as a cautionary tale about agreeing with a “popular opinion” without reviewing the source material.
Interview with James Damore, the Engineer who was fired from Google.