Google has fired James Damore, the software engineer who wrote a manifesto against the company's diversity policies that went viral within the company over the weekend.
Damore was fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes," he told Bloomberg on Monday night. Damore later confirmed his dismissal to BuzzFeed News.
"Google has super flexible (illegal) policies that they can twist to fire anyone they want," he said.
Google did not respond to a request for comment.
On Saturday, a lengthy memo titled "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber" written by Damore spread quickly among employees before being leaked to the press.
The document argued in favor of a biological basis for the difference in the number of men and women in the tech industry based on pseudoscientific statistics and assertions such as women suffering from "neuroticism" more than men. Damore's LinkedIn profile says he has received advanced degrees in biology.
Damore argued that the company should not offer programs for racial minorities or women and that "ideological diversity" — including more conservative viewpoints like Damore's — was more important than hiring more people of underrepresented racial minorities or women. Damore wrote that politically conservative Google employees faced discrimination.
"We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism," he wrote. "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."
Google executives said on Sunday that they do not "endorse, promote or encourage” the author's viewpoint. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that Damore had violated the company's code of conduct.
Damore's opinions garnered both support and disagreement on Twitter:
Susan Fowler, the former Uber engineer whose blog post ignited an investigation into sexual harassment and gender discrimination at the ride-share company, tweeted her disappointment with his supporters.
Some of Google's own engineers tweeted their disgust with Damore's opinions.
Silicon Valley, and Google in particular, has faced increasing scrutiny for its treatment of women. The search giant 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.
Blake Montgomery is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco.
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