It was an unoriginal argument: Women aren’t biologically fit to succeed in tech.
Over the weekend, a 3,300-word manifesto written by one of Google’s male engineers was leaked to the press. In the memo, the rank-and-file engineer mused that women aren’t suited for tech jobs for “biological” reasons. Men have “higher drive for status,” and women have higher rates of anxiety disorders — making for “lower numbers of women in high stress jobs.”
Google quickly condemned the document’s assertions. And on Monday, CEO Sundar Pichai emailed the company’s staff blasted portions of the memo for “advancing harmful gender stereotypes” in the workplace. “To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK,” Pichai wrote.
The memo has generated widespread outrage.
In fact, in terms of abilities, attitudes and actions, the differences between the sexes are scarce and minimal, Wharton professor of management and psychology Adam Grant pointed out on Monday.
Sarah Allen, a senior technical leader at Google, told CNN Tech that the memo “distracts everybody from the real issues. It’s really frustrating to have to respond to an ill-thought out series of arguments.”