New Delhi: After firing an employee, who had written an anti-women and anti-diversity ‘memo’, chief executive Sundar Pichai made a stirring statement on Thursday encouraging women-coders and batting for a more inclusive company, reported The Verge.
“Seeing the girls here tonight gives me hope for the future…I want you to know there’s a place for you in this industry,” Pichai said to young women who were finalists in an app-building competition on Google’s campus on Thursday.
“I know the journey won’t always be easy, but to the girls who dream of being an engineer or an entrepreneur, and who dream of creating amazing things: I want you to know that there’s a place for you in this industry, there’s a place for you at Google. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You belong here and we need you,” said Pichai, the entire text of which was reproduced by The Verge.
Pichai also talked about the importance of “building products for everyone in the world” and stated the requirements to do that. To build products for the world, Pichai said: “we need to have people internally who represent the world in totality”.
The CEO made these comments not just following the controversial memo, but after a scheduled town hall meeting to discuss gender issues had to be cancelled because some employees feared online harassment for speaking against the memo, mentions GN in an article.
This harassment included things like the anonymous circulation of a graphic composed of Twitter profiles of several gay, lesbian and transgender employees, reported the Associated Press (AP). This harassment was supported by conservative commentators like a former Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos, AP added.
As for the memo-writer, James Damore, he was fired on Monday after his missive from the Friday before that. Damore said that “the representation gap between men and women in software engineering persists because of biological differences between the two sexes”, according to motherboard.vice.com, which cited public tweets from Google employees.
The memo also said Google should not offer programmes for underrepresented racial or gender minorities.
In a note to employees after firing Damore, Pichai said the former employee’s views advanced “harmful gender stereotypes”.