Google executives responded over the weekend to a 10-page internal memo that criticized the search giant for its efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in its workforce.
In the memo, which was first reported by Motherboard and published in full by Gizmodo on Saturday, the writer attributes gender inequality within the male-dominated tech industry to biological differences between the sexes.
“Distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and … these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership,” the author wrote.
The memo also targeted what it referred to as a “left-leaning” workplace culture at Google and urged the firm to “stop alienating conservatives.”
The employee memo, titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” comes as the company fights a wage-discrimination probe by the U.S. Department of Labor, which said it found evidence that the search giant often pays women less than their male counterparts. Google has denied those allegations.
In an email to employees on Saturday, Danielle Brown, Google’s newly-appointed vice president of diversity and integrity, acknowledged the memo and said it “advanced incorrect assumptions about gender.”
“Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate,” Brown wrote. “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.”
“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,” Brown added.
Aristotle Balogh, Google’s vice president of engineering, also rebuked the memo in a separate email to employees and several Google employees also spoke out against the memo via Twitter.
“Building an open, inclusive environment is core to who we are, and the right thing to do. ‘Nuff said,” Balogh wrote.
A Google spokesperson told ABC News that the statements from Brown and Balogh are the company’s official comments on the matter.
The memo’s author, however, claims that he has received support and praise from fellow employees who are afraid to defend him publicly.
“Despite what the public response seems to have been, I’ve gotten many personal messages from fellow Googlers…