• International Workplace
  • 23 January 2018

Google sued for discriminating against white, conservative men

A former Google employee who was sacked after circulating a memo claiming women were biologically incapable of carrying out engineering roles is suing the company for allegedly discriminating against white, conservative men.

Engineer James Damore’s memo, which was published by website Gizmodo and, as a result, went viral, stated that women are incapable of leading and are “directed towards feelings and aesthetics rather than ideas”. His comments caused outrage.

In response to the backlash, Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, stated that Damore had gone too far by “advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace”. He commented: “To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK.”

In his lawsuit, Damore, who has been joined by former Google engineer, Dave Gudeman, claims that white, male, conservative employees at the firm are “ostracized, belittled and punished” for holding views different to those of Google executives.

Damore’s lawyer, Harmeet Dhillon, said that his sacking was illegal, stating: “In California your political views are a protected characteristic,” and that in Google’s eyes “the only way to achieve parity in the workplace is through quotas”.