James Damore wrote and distributed an internal Memo (within Google) in which he claimed that Google had become an 'ideological echo chamber' and that the lack of female employees within the tech industry is not due to sexism but rather sexual dimorphism. The memo leaked to the wider public, and the response remained split (many persons both praised and derided him). Google later fired Damore but was there any truth to Damore's words?

Expressions of bias

Damore's memo was ten pages long. In it, he expresses his belief that Google is a left-leaning organization.

He then lists several biases in his overview, which included openness, idealism, the idea that disparities exist due to injustice (left-leaning biases). It also included pragmatism, a belief that change in itself is dangerous and closed-mindedness (right-leaning biases). After he expressed the drawbacks of leaning too heavily on either side, Damore states that Google has become such an extreme left-leaning company that it has formed a monoculture that flagrantly disregards opposing viewpoints.

The next topic discussed is the supposed biases that prevent women from advancing within the tech industry and occupying more leadership roles. Rather than sexism, Damore expresses a belief that the physiological and psychological differences between Men And Women are what causes women to occupy the positions that they do

He states that women generally have a greater interest in people rather objects (while the reverse is generally true for men).

He claims that this preference leads to women occupying jobs in social or artistic fields and men taking up jobs like coding. As it pertains to leadership, Damore states that leadership roles are often stressful and time-consuming, which are unappealing to women due to their general preference for jobs with a greater work-life balance.

He goes on the claim that men are judged mainly by their status. This judgment, he said, is what causes them to take on jobs which both pay well, yet are extremely stressful and even undesirable ones such as garbage collection and coal-mining.

The male and female differences

Damore then proposes strategies meant to increase women's representation within the tech industry.

These proposals include: pair-programming and greater collaboration (to make programming more people-oriented) and making both leadership and tech less stressful (via courses and benefits).

Sexual dimorphism refers to systematic differences in form between individuals (within the same species) of different sex. There are several differences between men and women physically. On average: men are less sensitive to sound than women, women are roughly 30 percent weaker than men and women have thinner & less oily skin than men. There are also several behavioral and cognitive differences. On average: men are worse at writing, fine-motor coordination and reading comprehension than women. Women are worse at tracking moving objects and aiming projectiles than men.

Men and women also seem to have differing preferences regarding university degrees. According to CollegeAtlas, the top four bachelor's degrees earned by men are (in order): Business Administration & Management, Finance, Biology/Biological Sciences and Political Science and Government. For women: Psychology, Business Administration and Management, Nursing and Elementary Education and Teaching.

Men and women also differ regarding the jobs that they select. According to the US Department of Labor, women make up the vast majority of Dental Hygienists (98 percent) and Occupational Therapists (92 percent). Men, however, make up the vast majority of Heavy Truck Drivers (95 percent) and Heating, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics & Installers (99 percent)

It seems that, despite the backlash & scorn Damore received, he was right in stating that differences between both men and women exist.

Perhaps Google will take the time to consider some of his proposals.

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