In the aftermath, it likely seems quite clear to most people that top-tier Google officials simply did what they had to do.
And that was this: fire a male engineer whose work product engendered what a recent media report calls “a firestorm across Silicon Valley.”
Notwithstanding the now ex-worker’s termination, though, the tech colossus is weathering a bit of a storm from criticism that charges it with being brittle and unbending when it comes to tolerating political views from employees who espouse a conservative and politically incorrect line at the workplace.
Here’s the bottom line regarding a rather disquieting position that Google currently finds itself in.
It starts with the engineer, who wrote a lengthy memo — which quickly went public — expounding on his perceived view as to why a disproportionately small percentage of female workers hold engineering and leadership positions in the tech industry.
His take: It’s because they’re women and have biological limitations that hinder their participation.
Understandably, that sparked the above-cited firestorm, with Google countering that the engineer had to go owing to the “harmful gender stereotypes” his communication promoted.
The memo also criticized the company for its alleged intolerance of conservative attitudes and opinions expressed in the workplace, though. A Bloomberg article on the firing says that it could have some negative consequences in addition to its received plaudits for acting in the face of gender discrimination, underscoring that company culture “makes no room for dissenting political opinions.”
As Bloomberg notes, the Google incident comes at a time when the tech industry is being excoriated generally for a number of discrimination complaints based on lack of diversity and gender bias.
Google is currently on the receiving end of a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor that alleges the company’s systematic discrimination against female employees.