The 10-page treatise, titled "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber", argues that women are underrepresented in tech not as a result of bias and discrimination but rather biological difference between men and women. According to Google's most recent diversity report, the company's own workforce is 56 percent white and 69 percent male.
Brown doesn't make any attempt to dispute any of what the engineer says, but only notes that she and the heads at the company disagree with it.
A manifesto by a Google employee arguing against programmes to promote race and gender diversity and calling instead for an increase in "ideological diversity" has sparked a furious backlash. He also suggests that the company's dominant leftist culture has alienated political conservatives inside and outside the organization by deemphasizing viewpoint diversity.
In the employee memo, the author says men have a higher drive for status, pushing them into tech and leadership positions that require "long, stressful hours" while "women on average look for more work-life balance".
"When it comes to diversity and inclusion, Google's left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence", it reads. Its existence was first reported by Motherboard, and Gizmodo obtained the entire document and published it in full on Saturday.
Responding to the essay in a message to Google employees, Danielle Brown, the company's new vice president of diversity, integrity and governance, said the essay "advanced incorrect assumptions about gender".
We've reached out to Google for comment, and will update if we hear back. Though she faced instances of racism and sexism while at Google, she said she would not have expected any of her former coworkers to feel secure enough to broadly share a manifesto like this one. "But that discourse needs to work alongside the principles of equal employment found in our code of conduct, policies, and anti-discrimination laws".
While a few of the tech firm's employees have shared their outrage on Twitter, there are some who have also shown their support for the document.
"Many of you have read an internal document shared by someone in our engineering organization, expressing views on the natural abilities and characteristics of different genders, as well as whether one can speak freely of these things at Google". The engineer also reflects in the memo the fears and thoughts of many other men in the industry. "That is stereotyping, and it is harmful", Google VP of engineering Ari Balogh wrote.