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08 August 2017

Google CEO Sundar Pichai responds to sexist ‘manifesto’

Sundar Pichai doesn't like it.
Sundar Pichai doesn’t like it.

Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock

Google’s CEO has weighed in on the infamous “manifesto” written by an engineer at the company.

In a companywide email, first reported by Recode, Sundar Pichai said parts of the lengthy document “violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.” 

James Damore, the author of the memo, has now been fired from the company, according to Recode and Bloomberg.

“To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK,” Pichai wrote. “It is contrary to our basic values and our Code of Conduct, which expects “each Googler to do their utmost to create a workplace culture that is free of harassment, intimidation, bias and unlawful discrimination.”

The statement is Google’s most forceful condemnation yet of the document, which alleged that there are “biological causes” that prevent more women from getting jobs in tech and leadership positions. Previously, the company’s VP of Diversity and an engineering VP released statements that were not as forceful as many critics would have liked.

Even so, Pichai was careful to point out that  “many points raised in the memo …  are important topics,” and reiterated that “people must feel free to express dissent” within the company.

It’s not clear from the note what will happen to the author, identified as James Damore in a copy of the memo released by Motherboard.  

Pichai, who had just recently returned from work trips in Europe and Africa, said he was postponing a family vacation to hold a Town Hall later this week so employees could discuss the issue.

You can read the CEO’s full note over at Recode.

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