LOOP: Google programmer causes uproar over ‘diversity’

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CORPORATE DIVERSITY // A senior software engineer at Google wrote a memo that called for hiring based on merit instead of race or sex-based hiring preferences. In addition, his memo said that wage gap isn’t inherently discriminatory but could reflect the fact that men and women are different from each other in many ways and thus excel at different things. But these are apparently thought crimes now. And the media uproar was immediate. He was fired by Google. http://cvote.it/2ujmoIC

SHUTDOWN? // Another government shutdown could be on the horizon as both parties are balking on the debt ceiling hike. Members of the House Freedom Caucus have said they want spending cuts in exchange for supporting an increase in the debt limit. http://cvote.it/2uk7h1E

VATICAN // Pope Francis says it’s “terrible” that children are taught they can choose their own gender. “God created man and woman; God created the world like this and we are doing the exact opposite,” said Pope Francis. http://cvote.it/2ujWrc7

RELIGIOUS LIBERTY // Bakers refused to make a pro-Trump birthday cake for a 9-year-old boy. Writer Alexandria DeSantis replied: “I am told refusing to bake a cake for someone is illegal discrimination.” http://cvote.it/2ujJi2D

RIGHT TO TRY // President Trump backs legislation that allow terminally ill patients the ‘right to try’ experimental drugs that don’t yet have final approval from the FDA. Currently 37 states have right-to-try laws which apply only to drugs that successfully completed Phase 1 of the FDA’s approval process, but await final approval. http://cvote.it/2ujHXsp

CATHOLIC // Native Catholics say the Church risks losing some wisdom of holiness without St. Kateri’s Mohawk and other indigenous languages. http://cvote.it/2uju7X2

CATHOLIC // Bishop Thomas O’Brien, former bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix, has denied allegations that he sexually molested a young boy in the late 1970s and early 80s. http://cvote.it/2ujeqPH

SAINT // Saint Dominic – http://cvote.it/dailysaint

DAILY MASS // “Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.” (Ps 51:3) – http://cvote.it/Daily-Readings

MUSIC // What makes Vivaldi unique among composers? He was a priest. http://cvote.it/2vI4S4s

 

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The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org

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About Author

Joshua Mercer is a co-founder of CatholicVote.org, where he serves as Political Director. Mercer is also regular contributor with Catholic Pulse. Mercer previously served as Washington Correspondent for the National Catholic Register and Chairman for Students for Life of America. He lives in Michigan with his wife and six children.

16 Comments

  1. You have the reasoning of a child. A birthday party is not a religious event/belief. On the other hand, YOU have declared that civil wedding ceremonies and receptions are religious events. Thus, those participating in them, even the evil gays, are protected by the First Amendment. Duh?

    • Anna-

      I think that the bakers who got into it over same-sex weddings believed that marriage is religious and has connotations to their religious beliefs. I don’t think they tried to morph a civil ceremony into a religious ceremony.

      Other than framing your entire post on a false premise, great post.

  2. Ryan Schroeder on

    Perhaps your website would well-served by pointing people to primary sources rather than conservative websites. If one actually reads the Google memo rather than a conservative website, the picture becomes much clearer. The engineer’s argument is rather farcical; he equates correlation with causation. He notes a number of traits that, on average, women display more than men, and then declares these traits explain gaps in careers in coding, for example. But the causation is simply because he declared it to exist.
    As usual in these cases, the engineer cites no sources or data. Somehow, he just knows everything about the universal traits of men and women?
    A good example of the fallacy of his argument would be to declare that poor people simply aren’t interested in computer science because there are very few poor people working in computer science.
    Actual studies, you know, evidence, which I know doesn’t matter one bit at this website, indicate that until the rise of the personal computer, women’s careers in computer science were roughly equal to men’s. A study by Carnegie Mellon found that the first personal computers and digital toys were almost exclusively marketed to men and boys.
    http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2014/10/21/357629765/when-women-stopped-coding
    In a society where, for better or worse, we ask children to choose a career path at age 18, do you really think that access to a computer as a child would have no effect whatsoever on career choices in computer science?
    Further, the memo is not a “thought crime” as it is in writing, and now it’s public. This is obvious. Most companies don’t allow disparaging of co-workers. Does CatholicVote allow disparaging of co-workers?
    Finally, the reason why diversity matters in the workplace is because most people can understand that much of where we end up in life is based on uncontrollable factors when we were children. What school you went to, who you parents are, where you live, what jobs your parents had. Believe it or not, good ideas are not the exclusive provence of wealthy people, or white people, or heterosexual people, or any other category. The best business ideas, the ones that will make people insanely rich and increase shareholder value, are logically spread equally across all segments of society. Thus, any company that thinks logically would see the benefit in bringing in different viewpoints, a cross-section of society. People think differently based on their backgrounds. A company that only employs men from wealthy families who had access to top college educations will naturally be missing out on the full breadth of innovation. Again, this should be obvious.

    • “Believe it or not, good ideas are not the exclusive provence of wealthy people, or white people, or heterosexual people, or any other category.”

      Leaving the strawman nature of that statement alone, I think the point of mentioning the matter was that this particular person’s viewpoint wasn’t valued. He was fired over it.

      “The best business ideas, the ones that will make people insanely rich and increase shareholder value, are logically spread equally across all segments of society.”.

      As long as they keep their opinions to themselves? Is that it, Ryan? This person was a senior software engineer at Google. Sounds as if he may have some experience to bring to the table on this kind of thing. He should be silenced? I’m confused-everyone is part of “diversity”, are they not?

      • Ryan Schroeder on

        Did you read the memo, or no? As I already wrote, the engineer made a number of absurd claims with no citation and no data. For example:
        “Considering women spend more money than men and that salary represents how much the employees sacrifices (e.g. more hours, stress, and danger), we really need to rethink our stereotypes around power.”
        “Women on average show a higher interest in people and men in things”
        “Women on average are more cooperative”
        “Women on average look for more work-life balance while men have a higher drive for status on average”
        “If we, as a society, allow men to be more “feminine,” then the gender gap will shrink, although probably because men will leave tech and leadership for traditionally feminine roles.”
        Out of curiosity, how does the engineer simply know these things to be fact, since he provides no data and no citations? Has the engineer successfully surveyed the 7+ billion people on Earth, across countless cultures?
        Again, the engineer, by his own choice, emailed this to a company-wide email list. No one made him do this.
        If you don’t understand why making broad, sweeping, unsubstantiated claims about co-workers might not fit a company’s culture and values, let alone stated employee rules, then there’s really no point in continuing this discussion. If you don’t understand why co-workers implicated by broad, sweeping, unsubstantiated claims might not appreciate working in an environment in which people make broad, sweeping, unsubstantiated claims about them, then again, no point in continuing the discussion.
        As an employed person, I am well aware that I cannot just say anything at the workplace and expect to keep my job. There are workplace norms and values I am expected to uphold. If I went around asking my female coworkers how much they spent each weekend, since obviously they spend way more than I do, do you really think there would not be some sort of disciplinary intervention coming my way?

        • I had not read it-thanks for the transcriptions.

          Frankly, I have no earthly idea why said individual thought that anyone cared what his thoughts on these matters were, but I don’t subscribe to your insistence that every communication be fully cited.

          I’m quite sure that this spontaneous thesis broke any number of company protocols.

          If that’s your point, I agree with you. The guy is a stone-cold idiot for doing this. I do believe that the uproar was more about what he said rather than him committing an electronic faux pas at work.

          • Ryan Schroeder on

            I’m not insisting that claims be cited. My point is that the engineer is claiming facts that aren’t facts. They aren’t facts because they aren’t cited or supported in any way. This impacts the tone and substance of his message, i.e. cultural norms and values.

          • Suppose he gave citations-

            I hope that you would not then cede authority for some software engineer somewhere to make unilateral declarations RE: cultural norms.

            He just provide his opinions in an inappropriate setting, and apparently got fired for it. He popped off and got canned.

            I guess I don’t understand all the pearl-clutching over what he said. I mean, people DO hold varying opinions on things.

  3. Ryan Schroeder on

    Ram – the writers here at CatholicVote, and the article CatholicVote linked to in The Federalist, bemoan that, supposedly, diversity has supplanted meritocracy in the workplace.
    The man who wrote this memo is a senior engineer at Google – presumably, a position of some power, and presumably, a position in which people report to this person. This person is likely in charge of promotional decisions.
    For women working at Google who report to this person, would you really believe that your work is judged in a meritocratic fashion, when this person holds unfounded stereotypical views about you?
    That’s why I felt the need to respond to what CatholicVote wrote and linked to. There is no meritocracy when people judge others by broad, sweeping generalizations unfounded in fact. Literally, the exact opposite is occurring. Yet the response from CatholicVote is all to predictable.

    • I presume that this person may have been in a position of managing people, yes. I don’t know. Many software engineers do not have direct reports.

      I don’t know-maybe you do-if he has hired women or not, or if women worked for him or if they had issues with him treating them differently (not on merit) or not.

    • One thing we can hopefully agree on-it’s not at issue as to whether groupthink is good or bad within an organization.

      It’s not good.

      • Ryan Schroeder on

        I couldn’t agree more. Groupthink is a terrible thing in the workplace. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for open expression of ideas. Bad ideas often spark people’s brains and help them get to good ideas. I often wish people would be more willing to criticize what I do at work to help me improve. I can’t always be right!
        But the way we go about expressing our ideas matters. If I declared all my thoughts to be fact, period, regardless of what the facts actually are…that probably is going to contribute one way or the other to groupthink!
        Diversity for diversity’s sake in a workplace is just as pointless as any other practice for its own sake.

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