“In the meantime, let’s not forget what unites us as a company — our desire to build great products for everyone that make a big difference in their lives. We can, and will continue, to come together to do the very best for the people we serve.”
Such were the words of Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, to the company’s 60,000 employees addressing the backlash from firing engineer James Damore over his now-infamous memo.
The problem is, when Google decided years ago to focus on “diversity,” the management actually began obliterating corporate unity. It became entangled in discriminatory practices masked under the label of “promoting diversity” and ended up dividing its employees. For example, Google began offering mentoring classes to some employees — and not to others — based on their gender or race.
Google even went so far as to create a department of diversity. Apparently, however, they forgot that there is something called “diversity of thought.” In response to Mr. Damore’s memo, Danielle Brown, the vice president of diversity, wrote: “Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate. We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company.”
Except, of course, for when they aren’t.
James Damore’s memo clearly reveals that Google has become more of a center for social engineering than for technical engineering.
It’s very difficult to foster a company environment that causes employees to want to “come together to do the very best for the people we serve” when you start favoring some applicants or employees over others, not because of their abilities or work product but because of their race or gender. It’s also difficult to do if employees feel they must remain silent when they see that Anglo-Saxon men are being discriminated against for factors they have no control over — namely, being white and male.
I commend Mr. Damore for exposing Google’s nonsense and for initiating a national conversation on just how divisive “diversity” mandates can be.
Mr. Damore’s memo also discussed that there are differences between males and females, and that, as a whole, men are generally better at some tasks and women at others. As I’ve written about before, contrary to what Bruce Jenner (aka Caitlyn Jenner) and his big fan club claim, male and female differences are far deeper than our outer dressings or plumbing. Plastic surgery can never alter the DNA that exists in every cell and every drop of blood that makes us the gender that we were created to be.
Pointing out differences does not elevate one gender above the other. It just acknowledges that males and females are different. For Google’s CEO to say that Mr. Damore’s speaking about his understanding of biology “is offensive and not OK” is to say that science does not matter. It is sending the undeniable message to the world that the only thing that matters is whether or not you find something someone says “offensive.”
Further illustrating just how poorly the CEO handled this situation, after firing Mr. Damore for being “offensive,” Mr. Pichai actually sent out his own corporatewide email saying, “All of your voices and opinions matter and I want to hear them.”
Until of course, they don’t and he doesn’t.
Lest anyone believe I think Google shouldn’t “be allowed” to fire Mr. Damore for speaking his mind so publicly, let me be clear: Companies should have more freedom to fire employees who violate employment agreements and policies. Corporate executives also have the freedom to establish the corporate culture of their choosing, even if many people outside the company disagree with the model, as long as civil rights and laws are upheld.
I reject the notion that the government should step in to punish Google for its foolish debacle. The government, which already has far overreached its authority in the workplace, is the last place we should look to for relief from management stupidity.
By his own admission, Mr. Damore says he “loved the benefits” of working at Google and that it was “a dream job.” He also said he eventually became uncomfortable working in a place he viewed as “almost like a cult.”
If Mr. Damore came to loathe Google’s environment and/or he violated company policy by sending out a corporatewide complaint memo rather than first trying to work through HR systems to address grievances, then he should not want or expect to remain employed there.
What senior manager would put up with a disgruntled employee sending a complaint memo to every single staff member? Although it might not be wise or prudent to fire that employee while the entire world watches, entities nevertheless have the right to fire employees who intentionally violate the code of conduct to which they agreed, who cause disruption in the workplace or who publicly embarrass the company.
Just as Mr. Damore must realize that Google had the right to fire him, so Google must face the fact that in so doing, Google actually advanced Mr. Damore’s message: that their diversity policies are both hypocritical and stupid, and that there are real differences between the genders.
Google has clearly demonstrated that it would rather be “politically correct” than to work at creating an environment that brings their employees “together to do the very best for the people they serve.”
Mr. Damore may have lost his job, but Google has lost its way.
• Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at [email protected]
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