BUSINESS

Google Letter Blames ‘Biological Differences’ For Lack Of Women In Tech

The company quickly distanced itself from the memo written by an unnamed engineer.

08/07/2017 11:08 EDT | Updated 08/07/2017 11:26 EDT

Google is distancing itself from a memo that went viral inside the company over the weekend that argued diversity policies are misguided and are bad for business.

The screed, first obtained by Motherboard, was written by an as-yet unnamed engineer inside the company and argued that a lack of women in tech is a natural product of "biological differences."

Titled "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber," the memo argued Google's diversity policies were rooted in an "extreme" philosophy that believes "all disparities in representation are due to oppression."

The 10-page letter states in part: "The distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and ... these differences may explain why we don't see equal representation of women in tech and leadership."

The memo was obtained in full by by Gizmodo and can be found here.

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Google signage in front of Building 44, which houses employees working on the Android mobile phone operating system, at the Googleplex, headquarters of Google Inc in the Silicon Valley town of Mountain View, California, April 7.

Google quickly denounced the memo.

"We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, and we'll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul," said Danielle Brown, the company's new head of diversity, in an email sent to media.

But the memo comes at an inopportune time for Google, which is being investigated for an apparent gender pay gap.

The U.S. Department of Labor has accused the company of "systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce."

Google has denied the allegations, saying the company does not have a wage gap, according to The Guardian.

Critics quickly pointed to the memo as a sign that the male-dominated tech industry continues to be unwelcoming to women.

Some wondered whether the point of view expressed in the letter is commonplace in the tech industry. The letter writer at one point comments that they received "many personal messages from fellow Googlers expressing their gratitude for bringing up these very important issues."

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