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Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

Google Cancels All-Hands Meeting About Gender Controversy Over Online Harassment Fears

Google Cancels All-Hands Meeting About Gender Controversy Over Online Harassment Fears

Damore, whom the Times said had worked at Google's search group, is now planning to sue his former employer for wrongful termination.

At the last minute, however, CEO Sundar Pichai chose to cancel the meeting due to safety concerns.

Alt-Right protesters are planning a "March On Google" next week, following the U.S. tech giant's firing of an employee over his internal company memo discussing gender differences in the workforce, the media reported.

Google was right to fire the employee who authored the memo because his rhetoric undermines the company's stated values. Right-wing groups seized on Mr. Damore's ouster as another example of what they said was Silicon Valley's intolerant stance toward conservatives, while hailing him as a hero with the courage of his convictions.

Earlier this week, Pichai said employees have a right to express themselves but that the memo appeared to "cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace". Pichai was named CEO in 2015. After firing James Damore in part for pointing out that Google imposes an ideological bubble within the organization - which his firing amply proved - Pichai then made a decision to hold an "all hands" meeting to discuss diversity. The author also alleged that employees who stand politically orthodox are discriminated against, and that achieving ideological equality should be a priority. Google had then slammed the memo and fired Damore.

"Part of building an open, inclusive environment means fostering a culture in which those with alternative views, including different political views, feel safe sharing their opinions".

Damore said in the Bloomberg interview he was "hurt" by the firing.

"At Google, we're regularly told that implicit (unconscious) and explicit biases are holding women back in tech and leadership", Damore said.

The memo argues that the gender gaps at Google are the result of biological differences between men and women and that the company shouldn't offer programs that help under-represented groups. Google Vice President for Education Maggie Johnson said, "It's definitely a defining moment for Google and our culture". This may prove controversial, but I'm sure my fellow white men will agree that I have every right in the world to share this conclusion, because white-dude thoughts are always worth sharing: Some white men are not biologically suited to writing memos about diversity. "You belong here, and we need you", said a report in The Verge on Friday, quoting Pichai. Pichai then wanted to hold a public meeting for a "frank, open discussion", which under these circumstances would have nearly certainly produced the kind of frank and open discussions that emperors used to get when they held court.

As such, experts say Damore might not have been fired at a company that doesn't have such a clear message on diversity.

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