James Damore, now a former Google engineer, has been fired for circulating an extensive memo speaking out against Google's policies and practices regarding dissent and Diversity. As Bloomberg reported, Google's response to Damore's memo was to fire him, citing violations of corporate policies, their Code of Conduct, and anti-discrimination laws. As reported by Bloomberg, Damore is a software engineer with a Harvard M.A. in Systems Biology, which uses quantitative methods applied to biological systems, and he told Bloomberg that he plans to pursue legal options against his firing.

Internal memo leaked by colleagues

According to TechCrunch, Damore's internal 10-page Google memo, titled "Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber," which initially engendered heated reactions on Twitter #GoogleManifesto from Damore's Googler colleagues, was circulated internally beginning on Friday night, Aug. 4, 2017, and was first reported by Motherboard. Saturday, Aug. 5, Damore's memo was published in part by Gizmodo, which omitted charts and reference hyperlinks. Motherboard followed up by reproducing a full copy of the memo from those leaked to them anonymously by several Google employees.

Underlying purpose and motive for 10-page memo

Take note that Damore's memo identifies itself as a "reply" to "public response and misrepresentation," suggesting that Damore experienced or knew of disrespectful responses to anti-establishment opinions.

This is supported by Bloomberg's report that Damore earlier that week had taken a complaint to Google's Human Resources department.

The 3,300-word memo can be found in full, with a PDF option, on Motherboard as "Citations for the Anti-Diversity Manifesto," by Louise Matsakis, Jason Koebler, and Sarah Emerson, and is complete with charts and hyperlinks to supporting sources.

Note too that the subtitle of Damore's well organized and calmly presented controversy-stirring diversity memo is "How bias clouds our thinking about diversity and inclusion."

Damore's ideas in a nutshell as summarized in 'Reply'

In the introduction to what is being called his anti-diversity memo, Damore says that while public response from his colleagues to some previous unidentified conversation or conversations on in-house communication platforms, as described by Bloomberg, seems to be all against him, private responses from other colleagues thank him for giving voice to what they also think diversity issues but would "never have the courage to say or defend because of [Google's] shaming culture and the possibility of being fired." Damore also says in his "Reply" that:

  • He opposes sexism and stereotyping.
  • He recognizes sexism and stereotypes exist.
  • He values diversity.
  • He calls for an "honest discussion" to "truly solve" the problem of differences in distribution [e.g., of education, jobs, earnings] across diversity levels.
  • Controlling corporate ideology through shaming dissenters creates a corporate "echo chamber" wherein only conforming opinions are voiced, like echoes resounding from within.

Damore's ideas regarding diversity gaps as summarized in 'Reply'

Damore asserts that the "gap" in diversity representation (as in corporate leadership and high-stress level engineering jobs) reflects "population level" gaps in distributions: What is seen in the corporation reflects what exists in society.

This puts gender diversity gap issues relevant to Google in context with gender diversity gap issues in society at large, referencing Damore's ideas in a frame of a whole-society structure. He offers this as a counter-argument to the assumption that all workplace gender gaps are caused by sexism: Some workplace gender gaps, he argues, reflect social structure and are not caused by specific sexism in the workplace.

Damore reiterates the memo title's theme in 'Reply'

Critically, Damore clarifies the meaning of the title of his 10-page dissent and diversity memo, "Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber," by asserting that Google's promised "psychological safety" built on "mutual respect and acceptance" cannot be effected where conservative, right-leaning dissenters are silenced by liberal, left-leaning corporate leaders through tactics of "shaming and misrepresentation."