Employees at tech companies are deeply divided over whether Google was justified in firing the employee accused of writing the controversial memo, now revealed as James Damore. When it was first reported that James’s supposed “anti-diversity” memo had gone internally viral within Google, turns out the reason for this was because a large part of the Google employee base agreed with him, or at least thought his memo had something to contribute to discourse at the company.
Blind, an anonymous corporate chat app used by many in silicon valley, has conducted a poll among employees of several tech companies to determine what the general atmosphere is towards the firing of James, Business Insider reports. At Google, more than half (56%) of employees answered “NO” to the question “Was Google right in firing manifesto author, Damore?”. 44% of Google employees however felt that Google was in the right to fire him. (Scroll down for full poll).
The situation was similar at Microsoft, where 57% were against Google firing Damore and 43% were in favor of him being fired. Employees of Uber, the car transportation company, showed the most support towards Damore, with 64% against him being fired and only 36 in favor of him being fired. The atmosphere was however completely different at Lyft, where only 35% disagreed with Google firing him, while as much as 65% of Lyft employees supported Google’s decision:
Damore lost his job Monday after a firestorm erupted over the weekend when his memo went viral. In it, Damore accused Google of having a left-wing bias, questioned the effectiveness of its diversity programs, and suggested that biology, not just sexism, may contribute to the lack of women in tech and leadership roles. Google CEO Sundar Pichai called the memo “not OK.” and said it violated the company’s code of ethics. Several female employees skipped work on Monday after being upset by the memo.
During an interview with popular YouTuber Stefan Molyneux on Tuesday, Damore stood by his memo. “I’ve gotten a ton of personal messages of support, which has been really nice,” he said. “I got that at Google before all of this leaked. Lots of upper management was shaming me.” Damore has already filed a formal complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming his rights were violated.