The very thought is enough to send triggers of alarm among tech professionals everywhere. At the same time, others might scoff at the idea, and point out that Silicon Valley and the tech giants within it have been the first to champion diversity and inclusion.
The hot-button immigration issue was a case in point, as no less than the tech industry leaders themselves were first on the front-lines, pointing out that foreigners had contributed immensely to the growth of companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook.
But ethnicity is not the issue that is raising hackles all across the Valley in this particular incident. Rather it has to do with the way that women are perceived, and are perhaps being denied their due course in the region that has been painted as meritocratic and democratic.The incriminatory document came from Google, which is hard to dismiss.
As reported by The Washington Post, one anonymous Google engineer who described himself as a “white male” posted on a message board that the efforts being made by the search engine leader to develop women leaders were actually harming the company. He added that the ladies’ “genetic differences” made them ill-equipped to handle certain tech work. He concluded that it was these differences and not sexism, that explained the huge gap between male and female hires in Google.
Not surprisingly, this created a backlash in Google, Silicon Valley, and the watching world alike as the memo was made public. Business Insider says in a separate piece that despite its progressive ideals, Silicon Valley is largely an all white boys’ club, with the rare lady CEO or ethnic VP occasionally emerging.The site also recalls the dozens of times in past years that many Caucasian male executives were fired or let go because of the sexual harassment cases piled upon them by women. These same women, working in Silicon Valley, did say in varying degrees that there is a glass ceiling that is preventing women from rising to the top.
The Google controversy is far from over. But it has shone a light upon issues that decision-makers in the Valley should take a good hard look at, and resolve.
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