Google: Controversy after an employee comment on “biological differences”
The UNITED STATES According to the author, women are rather predestined for careers “in the social or artistic” …
A note that revives the debate on ” sexist culture and harassment” in the technological environment. Google was Sunday at the center of a controversy after taking an employee’s position in an internal message explaining that the very low presence of women in tech was due to biological differences.
In this 3,000-word letter published on Sunday by the Gizmodo website , a male engineer says that “the choices and capacities of men and women diverge largely because of biological causes and (thus) these differences may explain The why one does not have an equal representation of women in tech and (in positions of) leadership “.
The natural aptitudes of men lead them to become computer programmers, whereas women are, according to the author whose identity has not been revealed, more inclined “to feelings and aesthetics than to ideas” So they opt for careers “in the social or artistic”.
Freedom to express “different points of view, including political incompetence”
“This is not a point of view that the company and I are supporting, promoting or encouraging,” rejected in an e-mail to employees Danielle Brown, Google’s diversity manager, recently recruited at Intel and only in office for a month.
In her message, she argues that the internal debate is “driven by the principles of equality in employment found in our code of conduct, our anti-discrimination policies, and rules”. She adds, however, that Google has always wanted to defend “a culture in which those with different points of view, politically incomprehensible, feel safe to express them”.
“They are stereotypes and it’s harmful”
Contacted by AFP, Google did not comment. It was difficult to know on Sunday night if the Internet giant planned to take disciplinary action against the engineer in question. Ari Balogh, the boss of engineers, denounced “harmful stereotypes”.
“One of the aspects of the message that has most deeply disturbed me is the underlying bias that men and women feel or act in some way. These are stereotypes and it’s harmful, “he wrote in an internal email.
Currently, 69% of Google’s employees are men, a proportion that rises to 80% in technological jobs, according to the latest figures from the group. At Facebook, women were only 27% of senior executives in 2016. Apple’s total of 37% of women.
The publication of the note comes after scandals and resignations related to the lack of diversity in the jewelry of the Silicon Valley. Travis Kalanick, Uber’s co-founder, resigned on June 21 after a series of referrals and resignations of employees and executives, amid accusations of sexism and harassment. The former owner of the car rental giant, known for his jokes about his female conquests, was accused of having himself encouraged a corporate culture conducive to skidding.