A statement from Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday evening, obtained by Recode, notes that “portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”
Google has not responded to Gizmodo’s multiple requests for comment on the status of James Damore’s employment, however Bloomberg—citing an email from Damore—said the engineer has been fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.”
Damore had worked as a senior software engineer at the Mountain View office since December 2013, according to his LinkedIn. His screed, titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” went internally viral, as first reported by Motherboard on Saturday. Gizmodo later published the memo in full.
A Google engineer told Gizmodo that employees had reported the memo’s author to HR, with at least one complaint citing a “hostile work environment.”
More, from Pichai’s statement:
To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK. It is contrary to our basic values and our Code of Conduct, which expects ‘each Googler to do their utmost to create a workplace culture that is free of harassment, intimidation, bias and unlawful discrimination.’
While Google’s initial response to the anti-diversity screed was arguaby weak, the firing of Damore—if it has indeed happened—could signal the company’s efforts to take issues of diversity and inclusion more seriously, and with a sense of urgency. The company was recently accused by the US Labor Department of having an “extreme” gender pay gap. In 2013, the company punished one of its engineers for creating more transparency internally around salaries.