A Google software engineer published a manifesto saying that the company should encourage “ideological “ diversity instead of gender diversity.
Telling a male engineer to ‘shut up’ won’t improve Google’s culture, it is the dogmatic attitude that fuels backlash and undermines lasting diversity.
When a member of Google’s overwhelmingly white, male engineering staff raised questions about the company’s plan to increase representation of women and non-Asian minorities on the engineering staff, his politically incorrect words grabbed national attention. The tech giant’s new chief diversity officer responded in the worst way. Shut up, she said in so many words.
Oh sure, Danielle Brown — the vice president of diversity, integrity and governance — used some of the right words in responding to the internal memo. “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 in her reply.
But exactly how comfortable should those dissenters feel? Not at all. “I found that (the memo) advanced incorrect assumptions about gender,” Brown wrote. “I’m not going to link to it here as it’s not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages.”
The ideas in the politely worded memo, which endorses the need for diversity and merely disagrees on how best to pursue it, are so toxic in Brown’s view that it would be wrong to even allow one employee to be involuntarily exposed to them. So much for having a discussion.
Indeed, Brown’s statement proves at least one part of the anonymous Google engineer’s memo to be perfectly accurate. “In highly progressive environments, conservatives are a minority that feel like they need to stay in the closet to avoid open hostility,” the memo states.
Fear of exposing yourself to “open hostility” will be familiar to conservatives and even right-leaning moderates who have worked nearly anywhere in academia, in Hollywood and in too much of the news media.
And open hostility is exactly what Brown signaled in arguing that the memo writer’s words did not “work alongside the principles of equal employment found in our Code of Conduct,…