New York Times columnist David Brooks is calling on Google CEO Sundar Pichai to resign after firing James Damore for writing a memo expressing his views about gender diversity that was circulated around Google and then leaked to the public.
Google has a long history of telling its employees to stand up for what they believe in, but then management seems to take action -- sometimes negative -- when they do.
Damore backed his views with research papers and science. Brooks, in his opinion piece running in The New York Times, defends Damore’s use of research papers and science, but doesn't explicitly suggest he agrees with his ideas.
Pichai stated in a memo that "to suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not O.K," which Brooks calls "a blatantly dishonest characterization of the memo."
The 10-page memo details several concepts -- one of which one focuses on how women are underrepresented in tech because of inherent psychological differences between men and women and not because they face bias and discrimination in the workplace.
“Damore was tapping into the long and contentious debate about genes and behavior,” Brooks wrote. “On one side are those who believe that humans come out as blank slates and are formed by social structures. On the other are the evolutionary psychologists who argue that genes interact with environment and play a large role in shaping who we are. In general the evolutionary psychologists have been winning this debate.”
Brooks wrote that Pichai was either unprepared to understand the research, not capability of handling complex data flows, or was too afraid to stand up to a mob.