Segregated Valley: the ugly truth about Google and diversity in tech

Silicon Valley says it is committed to racial diversity in its workforce. But the numbers tell a different story

Google has spent much of the past 72 hours insisting its commitment to diversity is “unequivocal” after the internal publication and subsequent leak of an anti-diversity polemic by a Google engineer. The unidentified software engineer argued, among other things, that biological differences between men and women account for the extreme gender imbalance at Google and other technology companies.

“We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company,” said Danielle Brown, Google’s vice-president of diversity, integrity and governance.

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Silicon Valley’s weapon of choice against women: shoddy science | Angela Saini

Support for the anonymous Google ‘manifesto’ on gender difference is reminiscent of the thinking behind the eugenics era

• Angela Saini is the author of Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong

Sexism has long been recognised as a problem in Silicon Valley. But a lengthy memo written by a Google software engineer, and leaked online, has laid bare the ugly underbelly of how some in this male-dominated world think about women. The “manifesto” (which at the time of writing remains anonymous) uses scientific evidence in an attempt to explain that women are, on average, biologically different from men, in ways that make them less likely to work in the same jobs. “Women generally have a stronger interest in people rather than things,” the software engineer writes.

Related: Google staffer’s hostility to affirmative action sparks furious backlash

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