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09 August 2017

YouTube CEO perfectly sums up why Google engineer’s memo is so hurtful

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Variety/REX/Shutterstock (5226266bu)
 Susan Wojcicki
 Variety's Power of Women, Show, Los Angeles, America - 09 Oct 2015
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Variety/REX/Shutterstock (5226266bu) Susan Wojcicki Variety’s Power of Women, Show, Los Angeles, America – 09 Oct 2015

Image: Lovekin/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Another Google executive has spoken out against the sexist memo written by a former engineer at the company.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote about how the memo brought up the pain associated with the sexism she and others in the tech industry have faced for years. The op-ed, published by Fortune Wednesday, perfectly sums up why the memo, which some within the company apparently defended, is so hurtful.

Whether or not there are “biological reasons” that keep women out out of tech and leadership roles, she says, is a questions that “has weighed heavily on me throughout my career in technology.”

She goes on to detail some of the ways in which she has faced sexist behavior from her peers. 

Time and again, I’ve faced the slights that come with that question. I’ve had my abilities and commitment to my job questioned. I’ve been left out of key industry events and social gatherings. I’ve had meetings with external leaders where they primarily addressed the more junior male colleagues. I’ve had my comments frequently interrupted and my ideas ignored until they were rephrased by men. No matter how often this all happened, it still hurt.

The memo, she wrote, “was yet another discouraging signal to young women who aspire to study computer science.”

Wojcicki also came out forcefully against memo’s defenders, who have positioned it as a free speech issue. “The language of discrimination can take many different forms and none are acceptable or productive.”

You can read the op-ed in its entirety here.

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