back to article Google diversity memo: Web giant repudiates staffer's screed for 'incorrect assumptions about gender'

A Google engineer's 10-page argument for winding back diversity programs inside the ad giant has gone viral and sparked debate about whether Google really is an ideological echo chamber in which it's forbidden to ask whether efforts to promote diversity by denying biology are harming the business. Google execs have repudiated …

Silver badge

"the company has declined"

Oh really ? Of course, they can just do that. No problems. Nobody goes to jail for contempt, or anything. It's not like they have to answer the Court, right ? No. That was last millennium. Now we're modern. Companies decide the law, and which laws they want to respect. Doing what you're told is good for us peons.

Damn it's good to be on top !

16
7
Anonymous Coward

Re: "the company has declined"

Chill down. They had a disagreement on how much data they had to compile to make the bureaucrats happy, now it's been settled on a smaller amount.

15
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: "the company has declined"

Agree, Google did not compile with the request for data because the request was basically "Give us all your data on everyone forever... we'll let you know what we're about after you turn the data over."

8
1

Re: "the company has declined"

They just fired the guy, too - which kind of proves his point.

Still, at least they're going to make the lawyers happy.

8
0

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Silver badge
Thumb Up

9.40 on a Monday morning and already 7 downvotes - don't these people have a sense of humour?

12
0
Silver badge

Original post deleted by the moderator - someone else lacking a sense of humour? (post wasn't mine btw)

8
0
Anonymous Coward

◼️

The main problem with ◼️ is that you end up employing some right old ◼️, and, like bed bugs and syphilis, once you've got them, they are absolute ◼️ to remove. Far better for morale to have ◼️, ◼️ and ◼️ ◼️ wafting around the C-Suite.

We now put all the over-thirty ◼️ into an office affectionately known as 'the ◼️'. As a joke, new starters have to enter the ◼️ and demand one of them gets him a coffee. I think everyone appreciates both the humour and the necessary isolation this provides.

6
3
Silver badge

9.40 on a Monday morning and already 7 downvotes - don't these people have a sense of humour?

Well... not every reader of The Reg is in your timezone.

5
0
Silver badge

Dare I say

People should be employed for their abilities not their gender, race or value to some checklist.

People who develop greater abilities through study should find greater opportunities in work, regardless of their gender, race or negative score on some diversity checklist.

89
2
Silver badge

Re: Dare I say

And when that obviously isn't happening, because your workforce is predominately white males but you know talent exists outside that group? Do you put up with not having the best people?

22
44
Silver badge

Re: Dare I say

Yeah... The issue is that a CV sent by a black woman gets less answers than the same exact CV sent by a white male. People's judgement is tainted by the race and gender of applicants. Which is unfair, right?

That's why recruiters get unconscious bias training, and receive special instructions to check more carefully CVs sent by women and minorities. That's unequal treatment, but arguably, more fair.

29
21
Anonymous Coward

Re: Dare I say

It's more "fair" to some people than others. In other words, it's discriminatory.

29
8
Anonymous Coward

Re: Dare I say

The problem is that the employment statistics for tech companies including google are not predominantly white male but reasonably closely match the distribtion of suitably qualified candidates which has quite a lot of asians along with not very many women. Targeting a profile which doesn't match the distribution of available talent is incompatible with the principle of having the best people.

56
1
Gold badge

Re: Dare I say

"That's why recruiters get unconscious bias training, and receive special instructions to check more carefully CVs sent by women and minorities."

Do they? How stupid. I thought the standard practice was to separate the personal data from the professional data and hide the former from those who evaluate the latter. You pick the best candidates and find out later who they actually are.

50
0
Silver badge

Re: Dare I say

eah... The issue is that a CV sent by a black woman gets less answers than the same exact CV sent by a white male. People's judgement is tainted by the race and gender of applicants. Which is unfair, right?

And how pray does one tell from a CV that it was sent by a "black woman"? Was that information volunteered on the CV? If so, WHY?

I have read my fair share of CV's and interviewed and hired people. In one particular case we had the recruiter strip names & dates of birth from the CV's sent to us to remove any "unconcious bias". The only one I personally ditched on a basis that could be called discriminatory was a CV/covering letter which was VERY long on explaining how important their religion was, and very short on explaining why their qualifications and experiance were relevant and why they would be good at the job.

We interviewed four people, and recruited three. Two were the best qualified and interviewed well, the other had a good deal of relevant experiance and interviewed well. This turned out to be two men and a woman. That was purely based on CV's with names & DOB's stripped. A query for curiosities sake revealed that three woman had applied out of about 150 applications. The other two applications were discarded with about 120 other (male) CV's in the good old first pass method of "discard CV's with gross spelling mistakes as you've got to get the pile down to a sensible size somehow, and if you can't be assed to spellcheck your CV then your not likely to work hard."

I'm not convinced that there is a huge level of deliberate discrimination. If there was, then somebody would be hiring all of these good candidates up and outperforming the companies that were deliberately excluding the best people from their workforce.

What I think there is is a lack of woman wanting to work in IT and STEM generally, knowing a few of the sucessful woman in IT I think it's down to upbringing from way before school. The highly sucessful woman in IT & STEM that I know do their own servicing on their cars and are members of local engineering groups because engineer parents encouraged them to do non traditional things when they were younger and they enjoy it, and this is a far wider issue than "men are systematically excluding woman from STEM!".

Hell, there could well be a measurable collelation between woman working in STEM and woman who were allowed/encouraged to play with lego & mecanno instead of dolls at the age of <5.

38
7
Silver badge
Holmes

Re: Dare I say

"And how pray does one tell from a CV that it was sent by a "black woman"? "

Like this:-

"where identical CVs for stereotypically black and white names were sent to employers"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination_based_on_skin_color#Labor_market

16
2
Silver badge

Re: Dare I say

How about we focus on the tangible benefits of diversity? A team where everybody has the same background will probably all share some weaknesses, a diverse team is more likely to be able to cover one another's shortfalls.

Sadly, the debate inevitably gets shut down before anyone gets to defend diversity in this manner so most people don't think about it that way.

16
11
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Dare I say

People should be employed for their abilities not their gender, race or value to some checklist.

A very common, and intuitive, response. Here are the reasons large, profit driven corporations aren't generally taking that approach:

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=the+problem+of+meritcracy+tech+industry&oq=the+problem+of+meritcracy+tech+industry

2
6
Silver badge

Re: Dare I say

And white males, especially from financially privileged backgrounds, arrive for interviews with a tottering stack of privilege that others do not have. Which is much, much more discriminatory. Kapish?

7
30
Silver badge

Re: Dare I say

And how pray does one tell from a CV that it was sent by a "black woman"?

It's disengenuous to pretend there aren't dozens of clues to someone's gender, ethnicity,, age etc etc in CVs, starting with name and address, educational history, etc -- especially in the US where education still seems to be* startlingly segregated.

* I may be wrong about that but it's the strong impression I have.

20
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Dare I say

I agree with you, but unfortunately it's not happening. Sometimes great people need a chance because we do tend to favor someone who is like us versus different. It's the same with vendor purchases and coding decisions.

The reality is a lot of people have grown up in enclosed bubbles that never had anyone different than themselves. In Tech there are a limited amount of females and they are generally not on the tech side. When I was in my 30's I was more likely to hire a fellow 30 something versus a 50 year old if all things were equal based on my comfort and experience. I've also been less inclined to hire women because my entire upbringing had a separation of gender and I've mostly viewed females as potential mates, not as peers.

Now factor in perceptions on race, gender, and age and you wind up with an office full of late 20's to mid 30's white males. I may have missed out on a unique perspective based on my internal history.

9
0
Bronze badge

Re: Dare I say

That does not (and hasn't in the past) happen. It's only very recently where 'applicant X' is fed along to the HR department (but if your recruiter also has an unconscious bias, you still have the same problem).

2
0

Re: Dare I say

The root of the problem is: there aren't many women/minorities willing, available, and qualified for tech jobs, particularly in high-pressure Silicon Valley. This is a result of personal priorities, culture, upbringing, and education (or lack thereof). It's a socially and genetically self-perpetuating condition. Expecting those companies to change it is hopelessly naive.

Furthermore the dominance of privileged 99%-white 'social justice' jerks in Silicon Valley is repellent to racial minorities who adhere to more traditional cultural norms. They are part of the very problem they're ranting about.

6
6
Anonymous Coward

Re: Dare I say

"You pick the best candidates and find out later who they actually are."

That just moves any "WASP" filtering to the first interview stage and wastes lots more of the hiring manager's time!

2
2
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Dare I say

"and if you can't be assed to spellcheck your CV then your not likely to work hard"

You're

35
0
Silver badge

Re: Dare I say

And white males, especially from financially privileged backgrounds, arrive for interviews with a tottering stack of privilege that others do not have.

That's why we deliberately hire illeterate school drop puts. We found that many of the applicants for chief surgeon had attended elite medical schools.

There was an interview on our local "women in tech" quango. Some poor (financially) women with a non-traditional education background (ie didn't finish school) had been marketed into borrowing $30k for a few week bootcamp to learn programming.

She is then quoted "now when I apply for those jobs I know I have the skills". So when she loses out on the Google internship to somebody who has an MIT CS PhD or some kid who was reading Linux kernel source since the age of 10 and created a new language - it's because of discrimination.

16
5
Silver badge

Re: Dare I say

"And how pray does one tell from a CV that it was sent by a "black woman"

Commonly by the name, or if not sure then by checking Facebook / Linked-in.

4
0
Silver badge
Meh

Re: Tom Paine Re: Dare I say

"....especially in the US where education still seems to be* startlingly segregated." I too was surprised to find the problem of segregation in US colleges is getting worse, not better, but the really surprising point was that it was self-segregation - blacks/PeopleOfColor/African-Amercians (delete as your sensitivities allow) insisting on having their own colleges, their own dorms, their own "safe spaces". The whole safe spaces problem wasn't created by the blacks/PeopleOfColor/African-Amercians, that was due to the ridiculous nature of modern colleges being desperate to avoid any form of confrontation, so people that might challenge/offend others' views are silenced rather than debated. Bigots in the blacks/PeopleOfColor/African-Amercians community seized on the safe spaces schpiel to create educational ghettos without realizing just how racist they are being.

I have had some good, some bad, and some hilariously shocking experiences with graduates of black-only US colleges, especially considering that college is supposed to prepare a student for the business world. I had one such grad who seemed to assume the colour of her skin somehow guaranteed her equal standing with white and Asian colleagues that had far more experience and skill, and it was a real shock to her to be told that she had to earn advancement rather than have it handed to her on a plate. Her immediate response was to reflexively accuse the company of racism, which was disheartening because she had the ability, as she subsequently demonstrated, but her college had given her a very blinkered perspective.

11
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Dare I say

"And white males, especially from financially privileged backgrounds, arrive for interviews with a tottering stack of privilege that others do not have."

That sounds suspiciously like discrimination on grounds of race, gender and social background.

Do as I say, not as I do?

7
0
Bronze badge
Stop

Re: Dare I say

@Peter2

Innate sex specific preferences observed in unbiased baby studies strongly suggest that girls prefer a dolls and other typical female toys, and males preferred techical objects like Lego or Meccano, the Nordic feminist 'researchers' are full of manure.

Even if some girls are competent at STEM, is it really a good idea for continue enabling young women to start/have further education or careers, where this independence enables the Hypergamy nature of women, which causes progressive psychological ruination that progressively poisons all future relationships with males, including (too late) marriage to a gullible Beta male with inadequate/no children, risky extended unprotected Estrogen exposure cause by late/no child birth and breast feeding, more genetic defect risks for late children, and many more divorces initiated by spoiled slut women?!

No, the google employee is spot on, "SJWs always lie", it is time for all K-types to wake up, counter, and crush all the degenerate, lying r-type cults of feminists, SJWs, and Collectivists; which are also progressively destroying 1st world nations, including inadequate births of (typically smarter) native/founding people; 3rd world "replacement" immigration is the wrong answer because it is effective cultural suicide, they often have incompatible r-type culture, are often far less intelligent, and mostly troublesome young males! This 1st world female Hypergamy ruination is even progressively spreading to developing countries!

3
7
Bronze badge
Facepalm

Re: Dare I say

Diversity is not enough, because it is commonly rhetorically hijacked by Cultural Marxist disciples and useful SJW idiots. People having just different backgrounds is not enough, you must also ensure that they really are relevant, have merit, and can be trusted not to lie or deceive!

SJWs like to sneak into organisations via diversity holes in organisational security, then gradually hijack the organisation e.g. via HR in business organisations! See the book "SJW always lie" and see why unchecked diversity can be dangerous!

7
4

Re: Dare I say

I've recruited more than 50 positions in IT and tech during my 20 year career and I've never had access to separated data like you describe.

The HR process is that I as the hiring manager and the recruitment panel are sent all the applicants CVs to work through.

0
0

Re: Dare I say

I think you are right that there is not a lot of deliberate bias. There are exceptions where people hire their relatives (e.g. POTUS). Unconscious bias is a likely suspect for the other part.

I'm not sure why you put quotes around unconscious bias. Was it meant to by cynical?

The very nature of biases is that most of them are unconscious, which gives us the most ironic bias "bias blind spot". It's like an iceberg with the conscious biases being the part that is visible.

The psychology is really interesting. It is also based on rigorous experimental observation, so don't be quick to dismiss them as hocum because you don't know much about them.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Dare I say

No , that's Biased and unfair, you're just flipping the switch

No special treatment, all should be on equal footings.

You should Google the following headline...

"Blind recruitment trial to boost gender equality making things worse, study reveals"

They ended up hiring mostly white males LOL

MERITOCRACY NOW!

3
0
Silver badge
Meh

Re: Powernumpty Re: Dare I say

".....People who develop greater abilities through study should find greater opportunities in work, regardless of their gender, race....." That used to be the position of the SJWs when they were convinced that "fighting the class war" was the Right Thing To Do, but when that didn't quite work how they liked they moved the goalposts again. When "diversity programs" also don't heal all the World's ills they'll have to think of something else (actually forbidding white men to apply for jobs, probably) rather than admit the silliness of their ideas.

2
0
Linux

Re: Dare I say

It sounds like you support BOFH's Unequal Opportunities Policy!

He used to add "No offence." however. And even explained why.

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

Hmm

I think the reaction is actually demonstrating some of the points made.

Anyone seen the film "Divergent"?

some student unions have also become preventors of opinion and overzealous of crushing any debate. Creating a sort of equality "newspeak"

I have sympathy with the point about differences in traits being equated to oppression too. A totalitarian approach to equality is not equality at all, indeed it may well be substantially worse than the problem.

52
2
Devil

Newspeak..

This.

Not to mention the Doublethink. It is almost a crime just to express an opinion that doesn't align with the HR/party line these days...

About 7 years ago I was on a graduate scheme in a UK company which produced traffic light controllers. I had placements in Hardware (Electronics/Embedded), Software, Operations, Urban Traffic Control, Business Development, Legal, IT and HR.

When I was on my placement in HR, they were busy preparing an Equality & Diversity policy, and I was brave/stupid enough to get into an argument with the head of HR.

The policy encouraged so-called 'positive discrimination' towards minority groups, and I asked why it was necessary or even legal - She was quite offended that I had asked these questions, but said it was because "there are no women in engineering", because they are discriminated against - and the more the company could do to offset that, the better.

Then I pointed out that despite her having no such policy in place previously, there were 4 women in the hardware/software engineering departments (out of about 25 engineers total) - which is not exactly parity but far from her claim of *no* women - but I notice in her HR team, of about 8, all of them (except for me) were women.

She got quite angry/red and claimed not to have known about the 4 women in engineering (which I found hard to believe from the head of HR) and we got along about as well as cats for the rest of my employment..

The problem, like others here have said, is much earlier on. It's pointless and quite counterproductive to try and make underqualified women feel 'entitled' to a job in tech, because recruitment should always be on merit. The problem is education, and making women and girls feel entitled to an *education* in tech.

The worst case of gender skew was my computer science course at uni. Out of an intake of about 200 electronics / computer science students, 3 were female. And now we blame employers for the lack of women in tech??

13
1
Silver badge
Facepalm

The token conservative spoke out!

I think Google needs to hire more political conservatives, more christians, more right-wingers, more Trump supporters, and more Republicans. That way, their "diversity" will more equally represent the entire population of the USA.

same logic as hiring more women, simply based on generic demographics. A downvote storm will be a badge of honor, since it would just be the usual howler monkeys doing it...

I am SO sick of this "diversity" crap. Yeah, let's mix an equal representation of materials found on the makeup of the entire planet next time we build something out of concrete. It's not *FAIR* that diatomacious earth isn't equally represented in the concrete mix... "iron mixed with clay" indeed, and not in a GOOD way [like rebar in re-enforced concrete], more like in an UNSTABLE and BRITTLE way.

And THAT is what "diversity" does. It brings people into the mix that aren't necessarily there because they STRENGTHEN, but because it AVOIDS LAWSUITS [even when discrimination doesn't really exist].

icon: me face-palming at the lameness of it all

59
22
Anonymous Coward

Re: The token conservative spoke out!

Let me guess, you're a white male?

18
50

Re: The token conservative spoke out!

"And THAT is what "diversity" does. It brings people into the mix that aren't necessarily there because they STRENGTHEN, but because it AVOIDS LAWSUITS [even when discrimination doesn't really exist]."

Within the 10 page manifesto, one of his point did interpret to emphasize on that, that the diversity in google is mostly based on numbers not for the well being of the employees.

"The Harm of Google’s biases: Programs, mentoring, and classes only for people with a certain gender or race, A high priority queue and special treatment for “diversity” candidates, Hiring practices which can effectively lower the bar for “diversity” candidates by decreasing the false negative rate..."

Yes. It would be better to change diversity to base on their advantage and strength rather than to meet a number game.

22
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: The token conservative spoke out!

That way, their "diversity" will more equally represent the entire population of the USA.

Just so you know, Google makes most of its money outside of the US :)

13
0
Silver badge

Re: The token conservative spoke out!

Interesting, you were actually making a reasonable comment about employing more right wing christian conservatives to equal the bias of left wing* touchy feely employment rules.

Then as if to justify your comment about getting down votes, you flip the switch and turn into the sort of right wing* shouty nutjob that actually gives the "normal" people you pretend to represent a bad name.

*left / right wing. Usually used a sad attempt a killing an argument, in the same lines of you smell.

17
5
Joke

Re: The token conservative spoke out!

They also need to hire a fair number of thick-as-fuck people so their workforce matches the demographics of the USA...

46
3
Flame

Re: The token conservative spoke out!

I'm pretty sure i can type more words per minute than someone with no arms, regardless of their colour, gender or ethnicity.

Unfortunately even gays aren't diverse enough anymore to these racist SJWs if we're white.

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/03/22/nus-tells-lgbt-societies-to-abolish-gay-mens-reps-because-they-dont-face-oppression/

10
5

Re: The token conservative spoke out!

"...you were actually making a reasonable comment about employing more right wing christian conservatives..."

Er, no, actually - the suggestion was "I think Google needs to hire more political conservatives, more Christians, more right-wingers, more Trump supporters, and more Republicans.".

You've put that into a subsubset of right wing Christian conservatives. On very many issues, Christians are usually more left-leaning than average; on others they may tend to align with the right.

Admittedly that's sort of implied by the collection of groups listed - but the identification of 'christian' and 'right wing' is exactly the sort of lazy stereotyping which calls forth may of the over-simplistic approaches to diversity in the first place.

9
3

Re: The token conservative spoke out!

"Let me guess, you're a white male?"

AIDS Skrillex is an El Reg commentard. You heard it here first.

5
4
Silver badge

Re: The token conservative spoke out!

BZZZZT, wrong.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/09/how-the-faithful-voted-a-preliminary-2016-analysis/

Self-identifying "Christians" broke 60/40 for Trump. (Scarequotes because, though I'm an atheist, my parents are churchwardens and I'm pretty sure teh electric chair, guns, and cutting off welfare and public services from black and brown people didn't feature strongly in Christian doctrine. )

13
1

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017