Finally the news about Google’s unacceptable bias reaches the most unexpected shores, the premises of Google.
When Danielle Brown, the new Vice President of Diversity, Integrity & Governance, was hired, some of Google’s employees started a little revolt. Nobody got killed. It wasn’t about the President of Diversity and so on, who they apparently have, but the Vice President of all such things, and yet it was a little revolt.
An internal memo was written by one of the engineers. Left-wing news outlet Gizmodo who published the full ten-page document lets us know that the culprit was male. You can virtually hear the thunder already, feel tensions cracking, smell the manly odour of angry testosterone.
But not so fast. The document starts with a submissive discharge. Sentences like the following run through the entire document.
I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don’t endorse using stereotypes.
Yes, this boorish man starts the document with an imperialistic ‘I’. He goes on to speak about Google’s shaming culture and the habit of misrepresenting other people’s views. The issue that it stifles discussions, leads to authoritarian policies like job discrimination for the less en vogue “races” or “genders” and protecting ‘sacred’ ideas that might be dangerous wouldn’t surprise anyone to find in such an outcry. The author also claims that…
At Google, we talk so much about unconscious bias as it applies to race and gender, but we rarely discuss our moral biases.
I may add that I can hardly imagine them talking as much about their slow-motion-search-dysfunctional Google+ product, either.
I move forward and leave aside his mistakes about what is left and right, and his little theories about what makes men and women different. Google, he charges, offers a multitude of programs and career chances only to some individuals and that the under-representation of some groups [I guess Evangelicals, elder males…] may be even illegal.
- Demoralise the diversity issue (just look at pros and cons)
- Empowering conservatives to get out of the closet
- Addressing the fact that there are ideological biases
- Stop (!) restricting programs to particular groups
- A number of suggestion regarding redundant special ‘diversity programs’
- Psychological safety for those whose voices had been suppressed before
- Stop the ‘unconscious’ ‘microaggression’ courses
- Rather add programs for unconscious ideological biases
Thank goodness they were all of his suggestions. I hope there won’t be programs about ideological biases and that they get their google+ thing producing something other than error messages.
Anyway, the document went viral, which is the revolt I was talking about. It stirred the pot so much that Vice President of Diversity, Integrity and something Ms or Mrs or zee (?) Danielle Brown responded with her own memo.
Looking down her nose she did not even show the courtesy of linking to the disputed document that she was answering.
I’m not going to link to it here as it’s not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages.
Of course, she does not address one single of the suggestions. Instead she says the company will continue as before which she believes is a ‘change’ that is both ‘hard’ and ‘uncomfortable’ to some. Thank goodness she keeps her trite screed short. So I share a final eye-rolling moment with you and encourage the warrior rebels of Googlestan to soldier on!
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.”
Thanks to Cliff Arroyo of The Worked Shoot
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