In a letter to employees, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the male engineer who wrote an internal memo claiming that biological differences prevent gender equality in the tech industry violated the company’s Code of Conduct and furthered “harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”
James Damore, the engineer behind the memo, was fired on Monday, he confirmed to Reuters. The memo he wrote went against the idea that gender diversity should be a goal in tech — adding controversy to the long-ranging debate about the way women are treated in the male-dominated industry.
“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,” Damore wrote in the memo last week.
Pichai, in his note to employees, said Damore had crossed a line, though he supports employees rights to vocalize dissent.
“To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK,” he wrote. Read his full letter below.