The hot talk of the tech world is a controversial memo written by an engineer at Google who argues women aren't suited to jobs in technology because of biological and psychological differences with men. The document, "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber," is in wide circulation internally and can be read in full at Recode or Gizmodo. Among other things, the lengthy memo says women are more prone to "neuroticism" and can't handle high-stress jobs as well as men. It adds that men dominate engineering because they have a "higher drive for status," and suggests that the gender wage gap is politically correct nonsense, per CNN. On the latter point, the author says women aren't as good as men at leading or negotiating raises. The memo first came to light when Motherboard reported that it had gone viral internally, even while being met with widespread derision.
Google just happens to have a new head of diversity, Danielle Brown, and she issued a memo in response calling out the original because it "advanced incorrect assumptions about gender." At Recode, Kara Swisher writes that it's filled with "sexist twaddle," and a former male senior engineer wrote a post at Medium saying the unidentified author doesn't seem to understand either gender or engineering. "What you just did was incredibly stupid and harmful," adds Yonatan Zunger. "You just put out a manifesto inside the company arguing that some large fraction of your colleagues are at root not good enough to do their jobs." But a former Google engineer tells Motherboard that the author is not alone in his general sentiment. "I feel like there's a lot of pushback from white dudes who genuinely feel like diversity is lowering the bar." (Read more Google stories.)