James Damore, the Google employee who was fired this week after he published a viewpoint diversity manifesto, authored an article about the incident for The Wall Street Journal on Friday.
In the article, Damore explained why Google felt the need to fire him, and compared the company to a cult.
“My 10-page document set out what I considered a reasoned, well-researched, good-faith argument, but as I wrote, the viewpoint I was putting forward is generally suppressed at Google because of the company’s ‘ideological echo chamber,'” wrote Damore. “My firing neatly confirms that point. How did Google, the company that hires the smartest people in the world, become so ideologically driven and intolerant of scientific debate and reasoned argument?”
“Google is a particularly intense echo chamber because it is in the middle of Silicon Valley and is so life-encompassing as a place to work. With free food, internal meme boards, and weekly companywide meetings, Google becomes a huge part of its employees’ lives. Some even live on campus,” he continued. “For many, including myself, working at Google is a major part of their identity, almost like a cult with its own leaders and saints, all believed to righteously uphold the sacred motto of ‘Don’t be evil.'”
Damore went on to explain that, “Public shaming serves not only to display the virtue of those doing the shaming but also warns others that the same punishment awaits them if they don’t conform,” and claimed that by publishing his manifesto, he committed “heresy against the Google creed.”
“It saddens me to leave Google and to see the company silence open and honest discussion,” he concluded. “If Google continues to ignore the very real issues raised by its diversity policies and corporate culture, it will be walking blind into the future — unable to meet the needs of its remarkable employees and sure to disappoint its billions of users.”
Damore’s manifesto, which led to his dismissal, examined reasons why there are fewer women in tech jobs and called for more ideological diversity in Google’s workplace.
In a memo, Google CEO Sundar Pichai claimed Damore had advanced “harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace,” despite the fact that numerous psychologists, male and female, deemed the manifesto to be scientifically accurate.
Damore’s dismissal prompted swift criticism, with over 50 percent of Google employees reportedly disagreeing with the decision, and the New York Times calling for Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s resignation.