Google Cancels 'Town Hall' on Diversity at Last Minute

Google Cancels 'Town Hall' on Diversity at Last Minute

Google Cancels 'Town Hall' on Diversity at Last Minute

Alphabet's Google canceled an all-hands meeting to address gender issues and the firing of an engineer who stirred controversy with a memo about hiring practices, citing concerns over staff safety.

The ongoing lack of diversity in the entire tech sector is an issue that has grown an even bigger head of steam in recent months, with a steady stream of stories about big firms and big names being held to account.

It's the latest PR headache for a company that has been caught in a no-win situation since a controversial internal memo written by mid-level Google engineer James Damore surfaced over the weekend.

In an email to employees, Pichai said some questions that had been pre-submitted via Google's moderating software "appeared externally this afternoon and on some websites Googlers are now being named personally".

In an email to his staff, Sundar Pichai explained that questions from employees had been leaked and that in some cases the identities of some employees were revealed, exposing them to harassment and threats.

Damore characterizes himself as a classical liberal who strongly values individualism and reason. The meeting was meant to address the controversy surrounding James Damore, who was recently fired for publishing a memo on gender differences.

Earlier, Pichai said that the 10-page memo was out of line and that it "advanced harmful gender stereotypes". Conservative commentators such as former Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos - critical of Google's diversity efforts - have also circulated a graphic singling out several Google employees who are gay, lesbian or transgender.

Alt-right sites have gladly taken the personal info of some of these employees who are against Damore's views and published them for everyone to see and use as they wish.

Alt-right protesters are planning a "March On Google" next week, following the USA tech giant's firing of an employee over his internal company memo discussing gender differences in the workforce, the media reported. The engineer has claimed he had a right to voice concerns over workplace conditions and filed a labour relations board complaint prior to being fired. When we reached out to Google for comment, they directed us to the Recode article.

"People get offended because it goes against the left's ideology", Damore said during an interview on a conservative talk show on YouTube.

"I am a moderately conservative Googler", wrote one employee, "and I am and have been scared to share my beliefs. What is leadership doing to ensure Googlers like me feel invited and accepted, not just tolerated or safe from angry mobs?"

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