Brian Snyder / Reuters
A controversial document criticizing Google's policies on diversity and written by a senior software engineer employed there went viral within the company on Saturday, according to employees.
"We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism," the author wrote at one point, and, "I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership."
The 10-page manifesto, entitled "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber," was initially shared on an internal messaging service before spreading throughout the company, according to an employee who spoke to BuzzFeed News on condition of anonymity for fear of being fired. The memo argues in part that Google should not offer programs for racial minorities or women.
The document also claims that employees with conservative political beliefs face discrimination within Google, and that programs focused on racial and gender diversity are less important than those protecting "ideological diversity."
More than eight employees tweeted about the document on Friday and Saturday before it was made public.
Software engineer Jaana Dogan tweeted that she would "consider leaving the company for the first time in five years" if Google's human resources department did not take action in response to the document.
"What a great feeling," another software engineer tweeted sarcastically, in response to the document circulating.
Andrew Bonventre, who works on Google's Go programming language, called it a "garbage fire of a document" and "trash."
Google is currently under investigation by the US Department of Labor for gender discrimination in the workplace. One department official testified in court that the federal agency has found "systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce." Google has denied the allegations.
At Uber, founder Travis Kalanick stepped down in June, months after an employee made allegations on Tumblr of rampant gender discrimination at the company. The blog post prompted an independent internal investigation into Uber's workplace culture, and led to the termination of 20 executives and
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday.
If you have information or tips about the Google document and the company's internal response, you can contact this reporter over an encrypted chat service such as Signal or WhatsApp at 646-379-0593.