Read a Google engineer’s treatise on why biological differences actually cause the gender gap in tech

Yikes.
Image: FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

Early Saturday morning, a report in Motherboard revealed the existence of a 10-page document written by a Google engineer that said that inherent differences between men and women accounted for the gender gap in tech and opposed diversity initiatives at the company.

Now, the full text of the document is out via a report in Gizmodo. And, unsurprisingly, it’s not great.

The stilted, bullet point-heavy memo argues that Google is biased against conservatives and doesn’t accept criticism of its approach to diversity. Maybe, the still-unidentified author argues, women are actually just biologically different from men and that’s why there’s a gender gap in engineering. Not, you know, because of discrimination.

Weirdly, the author uses this problematic argument to say that he actually supports diversity. He just thinks Google is approaching it wrong, and doesn’t value the kind of diversity that’s actually important, like ideological diversity.

The biological arguments get into some weird assumptions around gender that are also offensive for reasons unrelated to the tech industry.

“We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism,” the author wrote.

Below are some highlights from the memo, reportedly written by a male senior software engineer at Google. Reminder: Google is under investigation by the Department of Labor for its extreme gender pay gap. And according to its latest diversity report, Google is 56 percent white and 69 percent male.

Political correctness is the real problem

“When it comes to diversity and inclusion, Googles left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence.”

‘Biological’ characteristics of women

  • Women on average show a higher interest in people and men in things

  • Women on average are more cooperative

  • Women on average look for more work-life balance while men have a higher drive for status on average

Diversity programs discriminate against white men

“Google has created several discriminatory practices:

  • Programs, mentoring, and classes only for people with a certain gender or race

  • A high priority queue and special treatment for diversity candidates

  • Hiring practices which can effectively lower the bar for diversity candidates by decreasing the false negative rate

  • Reconsidering any set of people if its not diverse enough, but not showing that same scrutiny in the reverse direction (clear confirmation bias)”

Conservatives are discriminated against

  • “Viewpoint diversity is arguably the most important type of diversity and political orientation is one of the most fundamental and significant ways in which people view things differently.

  • In highly progressive environments, conservatives are a minority that feel like they need to stay in the closet to avoid open hostility. We should empower those with different ideologies to be able to express themselves.”

Microaggressions don’t matter

“Microaggression training incorrectly and dangerously equates speech with violence and isnt backed by evidence.”

Accepting biology is the only way to close gender gaps

“Once we acknowledge that not all differences are socially constructed or due to discrimination, we open our eyes to a more accurate view of the human condition which is necessary if we actually want to solve problems.”

So yeah. The arguments are flawed, and continue at much greater length. Read the rest of the document here.

Google still hasn’t responded to requests for comment, but Google’s vice president of diversity did send an internal memo in response.

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