James Damore says, “There's just so much hypocrisy in the things they are saying. I decided to create the document to clarify my thoughts."
James Damore, the engineer who got sacked from Google for circulating an internal memo asserting there are biological causes behind gender inequality in the tech industry, has given a lengthy interview to Stefan Molyneux, a YouTube channel. In the 45 minute video, Damore said that he wrote the memo,which criticises Google’s approach to diversity, after attending one of the company’s diversity programmes and finding it “secretive” and “shameful.”
The manifesto reportedly argued that Google should halt initiatives aimed at increasing gender and racial diversity within the company and instead focus on “ideological diversity”. In the interview Damore clarifies, “I went to a diversity programme at Google, it was totally secretive. I heard things that I definitely disagreed with in some of our programmes. I had some discussions there, there was lots of just shaming, and ‘No you can’t say that, that’s sexist’ and ‘You can’t do this.”
He said that the firing proved his original memo correct. In the memo, he had suggested that people with conservative views were ostracised within Google. Explaining his intentions behind creating the document, James said, “There’s just so much hypocrisy in the things they are saying. I decided to create the document to clarify my thoughts.”
According to James, more conservative employees were thinking of leaving Google because its supposed left-wing bias was “getting so bad.” In fact, the sacked employee goes on to explain that he’s received a lot of support. In the same interview, he said, “I’ve gotten a tonne of personal messages of support which has been really nice. I got that at Google before all of this leaked. Lots of upper management was shaming me.”
Earlier, Google’s vice president of diversity, Danielle Brown, sent a memo in response to the furore over the weekend, saying the engineer’s essay “advanced incorrect assumptions about gender”. Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai had described the memo as offensive in a note on Monday, and called Damore’s views “not OK”.
Debate over the treatment of women in the male-dominated tech industry has raged for months. In fact, Silicon Valley’s treatment of women has received a lot of flak, following a string of allegations of harassment and discrimination at large companies such as Uber and at several high-profile venture capital firms. According to a business Insider report, Google is also embroiled in a legal dispute with the Department of Labor, which has accused Google of “systemic compensation disparities” between men and women.