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Google rebukes employee's gender gap memo

Google finds itself at the center of a controversy after an employee has claimed "biological causes" explain the lack of women in the tech sector. Executives hastened to denounce the engineer's leaked memo.

Google managers rushed to sharply criticize an engineer's memo that had ascribed gender inequality in the tech industry to biological differences between the sexes.

In a 3,000-word internal document, the unnamed employee had asserted that "Google's left bias has created a politically correct monoculture," which prevented honest discussion of the issue.

"Distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part to biological causes and these differences may explain why we don't see equal representation of women in tech and leadership," he wrote.

Motherboard, the online news outlet that first reported the employee's memo, reported that many messages in response showed backing for the views expressed by the engineer.

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Tricky issue

But Google's recently hired vice president of diversity, integrity and governance, Danielle Brown, said the engineer's essay "advanced incorrect assumptions about gender."

"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," she wrote.

"But that discourse needs to work alongside the principles of equal employment found in the Code of Conduct and anti-discrimination laws," Brown added.

The Google controversy erupted as the US Department of Justice continued to press an investigation of alleged gender-based pay discriminations at the Alphabet unit. The company had denied any such charges.

hg/jd (AFP, Reuters)

 

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