I’ve been saying it for more than 30 years.
“If racial and sex diversity is a noble goal for employers, why isn’t ideological diversity?”
Now, one of America’s most “progressive” companies is facing the same question from an anonymous senior software engineer who has posted a well-reasoned 10-page treatise on the subject.
The press, Google officials and employees have responded to the plea for more diversity by labeling the document as an “anti-diversity” screed.
The document begins by making this point: “I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don’t endorse using stereotypes.”
There is no “but” following that unequivocal declaration. Nevertheless, the focus of the criticism from all corners is that the document denounces the quest for a diverse workforce. Nowhere in the lengthy paper does it suggest any such thing.
In fact, it bears repeating, the writer called for more diversity – and different kinds, including ideological diversity, which can actually reduce the biases of a corporate culture stacked, as Google is, by overwhelmingly left-leaning thought.
“Google’s political bias has equated the freedom from offense with psychological safety, but shaming into silence is the antithesis of psychological safety,” writes the Google insider. “This silencing has created an ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too sacred to be honestly discussed. The lack of discussion fosters the most extreme and authoritarian elements of this ideology.”
These examples are offered:
- Extreme: All disparities in representation are due to oppression
- Authoritarian: We should discriminate to correct for this oppression
- Differences in distributions of traits between men and women may in part explain why we don’t have 50 percent representation of women in tech and leadership. Discrimination to reach equal representation is unfair, divisive, and bad for business.
Most striking about the tone and the specific suggestions for greater dialogue is the moderation of its presentation – and its non-dogmatic approach. It’s simply a plea to consider other viewpoints and worldviews.
“People generally have good intentions, but we all have biases which are invisible to us,” the writer says. “Thankfully, open and honest discussion with those who disagree can highlight our blind spots and help us grow, which is why I wrote this document. Google has several biases and honest discussion about these biases is being silenced by the dominant ideology. What follows is by no means the complete story, but it’s a perspective that desperately needs to be told at Google. At Google, we talk so much about unconscious bias as it applies to race and gender, but we rarely discuss our moral biases. Political orientation is actually a result of deep moral preferences and thus biases. Considering that the overwhelming majority of the social sciences, media, and Google lean left, we should critically examine these prejudices.”
The writer lists the biases of the left and right in an objective way – explaining that a workforce that combines both views is stronger for the balance.
“Neither side is 100 percent correct and both viewpoints are necessary for a functioning society or, in this case, company,” the Google employee writes. “A company too far to the right may be slow to react, overly hierarchical, and untrusting of others. In contrast, a company too far to the left will constantly be changing (deprecating much loved services), over diversify its interests
(ignoring or being ashamed of its core business), and overly trust its employees and competitors.”
That a memo suggesting Google has simply gone too far in following the path of the left is dismissed by reporters, editors, the Google hierarchy and angry colleagues is telling. In fact, it makes the point of the memo that much more persuasive.
Here’s how the memo was covered by the media:
- A Google employee wrote an anti-diversity “manifesto” that’s going viral inside the company – The Verge
- Exclusive: Here’s the full 10-page anti-diversity screed circulating internally at Google – Gizmodo
- Google just hired a diversity VP – just as it struggles with a sexist memo from an employee
- Senior Google employee shares anti-diversity memo encouraging company to “de-emphasize empathy” – Complex.com
- A senior engineer at Google wrote a manifesto against diversity and employees are furious – Business Insider
- A Google engineer wrote that women may be genetically unsuited for tech jobs, Women wrote back – Washington Post
What do these headlines have in common? They’re flatly untrue. Fake news.
The writer is actually calling for more diversity – the kind that matters most and creates a culture of mutual respect for differing opinions.
“Only facts and reason can shed light on these biases, but when it comes to diversity and inclusion, Google’s left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence,” the writer explains. “This silence removes any checks against encroaching extremist and authoritarian policies. For the rest of this document, I’ll concentrate on the extreme stance that all differences in outcome are due to differential treatment and the authoritarian element that’s required to actually discriminate to create equal representation.”
Another important point: The policies that Google and other companies and government agencies follow actually result in real discrimination and less diversity – and the authoritarian “echo chamber” effect.
Media wishing to interview Joseph Farah, please contact [email protected].