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August 04th 2017 print

Geoff Newton

An Apology for the AHRC’s Existence

You university kids, don't be afraid. Your institutions aren't hotbeds of rape, it's just that tax-hoovering social engineers want you believe they are. It gets them noticed, you see, and while they will never apologise, I will. I'll say sorry as one of your elders for not running them out of town on a rail

on a railI’d like to offer my sincerest apologies to the current generations of Australian university students who have been vilified by the recent, spurious report from the Human Rights Commission. Please rest assured that you are not an entire generation of sexual abuse perpetrators, nor are you an entire generation of sexual abuse victims. You are, however, victims of a crude attempt at social engineering by a government commission peopled by those who seek to force an ideological agenda while justifying their pay cheques.

I realise that, as the most heavily brainwashed generation to date in regards to gender differences and sexual politics, it would have been harder for many of you to not identify as sexual assault victims than risk being ostracized by your peers. I know that you have been primed and manipulated by your lecturers for years just so those who conducted the report could get the desired results.

This sort of skewed research and data collection happens all the time and is often used by politicians and idealogogs. It’s my generation that has let this happen and I am deeply sorry. I also offer my apology for the way your university heads so quickly and shamelessly acquiesced and grovelled without even questioning the findings and the parameters in which they were conducted. They offered not one jot in your defense and that is deeply shameful.

Know this: just like a fish does not know it’s wet you cannot know at this point just how shamelessly you have been manipulated by people who do not for a minute care about your welfare but merely seek to reinforce their ideological position: the “moral” high ground they stand on is of their own making.

Again, you are not any more of a pervert or a trauma victim than any generation that has come before you. You are simply trapped between bullies and cowards. It may not make you feel any better about the way you have been slandered but if history is anything to go by please know that it will not be always this way.  Fire up your lap top and google “The Big Lie.” This will explain just how you have been used by people of my generation in order to try and make you “into the person they wanted to be” in the same way that any over-dominant parent does.

Again: You are not perps or victims. You are just young people trying to negotiate the terrible minefield that we have laid out or you. For this, I am sorry.

Comments [21]

  1. padraic says:

    This recent report about rapes etc at Universities talks about “sexual assault”. What does that mean? It could mean anything. It also means that law firms are licking their lips at the prospect of yet another field of financial endeavour. I saw the other day where one student claiming “sexual assault” was wanting the university to “apologise”. That’s usually code for a lawyers’ picnic feasting off, this time, those rich universities. Of course, the report did not say whether the alleged sexual assault was initiated by a fellow student or a member of staff. Journalism these days is the pits.

    • Russell Potter says:

      “sexual assault” is just the technical legal term, used in the Crimes Act, for what’s informally called “rape”. It’s, in fact, it’s actually quite precisely defined: for example, It can’t occur by mistake (that is, the offender mistakenly believes there’s consent), and the offender must know there’s no consent but carry out the act (specifically, of sexual penetration) regardless. Without all these factors being present, it’s just simply not (legally speaking) sexual assault … but, as with many “progressive” totems, the phrase’s meaning is fantastically widened so as to fit the claimant’s currently-required purpose

      • padraic says:

        Thanks for that Russel. My wife wondered ironically if it applied to “inappropriate staring”, given the low threshold of offence displayed by the snowflakes.

        • Russell Potter says:

          Well, I’ve heard of the definition of sexual assault being widened, in the above-mentioned
          msnner, to include “inappropriate touching” (what-ever that means), but I think the current fashion is thsy is that “inappropriate staring” is supposed to constitute “sexual harassment”

          • padraic says:

            I wonder how they would cope with the level of “touching” in the “Barn Dance” or “La Bomba” at the dances and balls we used to attend in Winters long ago? No one suffered, and we all had a good time. We would stare if a girl was wearing a gownless evening strap or even if she was just attractive in standard garb. This new secular religion with its political correctness and opposition to alcohol, meat etc (but not drugs) has more wowser elements than the traditional ones.

  2. Doubting Thomas says:

    Which Big Lie does the auhor have in mind?

  3. en passant says:

    Geoff,
    Don’t apologise as that just reinforces the snowflakes fake hurt.
    Go and see the movie ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ or read of the travails of real men (you know ‘male guys’) in PNG in WW2. Instead of creating more jellybacks and safe places, what we need is more fight clubs, risk-taking and extreme sports clubs, preferably compulsory for all until you have broken at least one bone.

    Yes, I know, in a country where Waverley Council can reject the building of a Synagogue because they fear violence from the religion of peace death cult we have already surrendered.

    So, time to close down our universities as the only safe course of action. Only the taxpayer and CentreLink will notice.

  4. Keith Kennelly says:

    Centrelink won’t notice. They are already drowning under a torrent of unemployed and unemployable Graduates.
    What difference will a few more know all fake ‘intellectuals’ make?

    • whitelaughter says:

      In the shot term, none, but in the long term, a lot. The trick to getting a job at the moment is to hide your qualifications; if the teens currently at uni because they don’t know what to do with their lives instead look for work, they’ll find it easier than if they wait until they graduate – and drive economic growth.

  5. Jody says:

    I vote for any party which promises to disband the AHRC and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Otherwise it’s informal for me.

  6. Patrick McCauley says:

    A masterful piece of writing indeed … and thinking (which is, after all, what ‘writing’ is) It takes me into the space of ‘forgiveness’ .. which cannot exist in leftist thinking … and may be a great strength in the liberal mind. ‘like a fish does not know its wet’ our children have been invaded and are ‘trapped between bullies and cowards’ and the ‘truth’ has bee obliterated.

  7. whitelaughter says:

    Rape is a major problem at universities. Rather than going on about how the problem is being overblown (okay, it probably is, but why miss a chance to crack down on scumbags?) why not calmly point out that universities are where the trendy lefties have the most influence, and ask why *their* strongholds are full of rapists?

  8. Patrick McCauley says:

    Yet Albrechtson tells us in the Oz yesterday that Universities are one of the safest public spaces with regard to ‘sexual harrassment’ Compulsory re-education programs with regard to ‘attitudes to women’ – do not seem to improve the situation. There are significant numbers of young people identifying as genderless and wandering around in a kind of psychosis known as gender dystopia … and you want to ‘crack down’ on the young ‘scumbags’ (men) , all of them, for the crimes of the rapists. Fair enough, but you’ll have to line up behind the ‘Violence Against Women’ campaign programs – and the AFL and Safe Schools and ‘Respectful Relationships’ and all the other ‘Attitudes to Women’ programs that are driving an entire generation of ‘males’ into drugs and alcohol … and gender dystopia – marriage equality .Equality is deadly.

    • Jody says:

      What makes you think all the “scumbags” are men? Plenty of young women I’ve seen have foul mouths, tatts in all corners and crevices, breasts that hang in public like wet washing, shoes which any prostitute would be happy to wear, skirts so short that they embarrass onlookers, drinking to drop-down excess, fingernails which Cruella de Ville would admire and not a scintilla of pride. What message do you think these young women send to the world at large?

      I have 3 sons and my eldest has said for years, “the world is full of slappers – they’re a dime a dozen”. What you want in a woman is the opposite.

  9. Jody says:

    This posting has been attributed to somebody working at Google, but I have my doubts it would ever have seen the light if that were the case. But most of the arguments; I think we can all relate to these! I think it’s a good read and apologies for the length:

    Reply to public response and misrepresentation
    I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don’t endorse using stereotypes. When addressing the gap in representation in the population, we need to look at population level differences in distributions. If we can’t have an honest discussion about this, then we can never truly solve the problem. Psychological safety is built on mutual respect and acceptance, but unfortunately our culture of shaming and misrepresentation is disrespectful and unaccepting of anyone outside its echo chamber. Despite what the public response seems to have been, I’ve gotten many personal messages from fellow Googlers expressing their gratitude for bringing up these very important issues which they agree with but would never have the courage to say or defend because of our shaming culture and the possibility of being fired. This needs to change.

    TL:DR
    Google’s political bias has equated the freedom from offence with psychological safety, but shaming into silence is the antithesis of psychological safety.
    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.
    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% representation of women in tech and leadership. Discrimination to reach equal representation is unfair, divisive, and bad for business.
    Background [1]
    People generally have good intentions, but we all have biases which are invisible to us. 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.[2] 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.

    Google’s biases
    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.

    Left Biases
    Compassion for the weak
    Disparities are due to injustices
    Humans are inherently cooperative
    Change is good (unstable)
    Open
    Idealist

    Right Biases
    Respect for the strong/authority
    Disparities are natural and just
    Humans are inherently competitive
    Change is dangerous (stable)
    Closed
    Pragmatic

    Neither side is 100% correct and both viewpoints are necessary for a functioning society or, in this case, company. 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.

    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. 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.

    Possible non-bias causes of the gender gap in tech [3]
    At Google, we’re regularly told that implicit (unconscious) and explicit biases are holding women back in tech and leadership. Of course, men and women experience bias, tech, and the workplace differently and we should be cognisant of this, but it’s far from the whole story.

    On average, men and women biologically differ in many ways. These differences aren’t just socially constructed because:

    They’re universal across human cultures
    They often have clear biological causes and links to prenatal testosterone
    Biological males that were castrated at birth and raised as females often still identify and act like males
    The underlying traits are highly heritable
    They’re exactly what we would predict from an evolutionary psychology perspective
    Note, I’m not saying that all men differ from women in the following ways or that these differences are “just.” I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership. Many of these differences are small and there’s significant overlap between men and women, so you can’t say anything about an individual given these population level distributions.

    Personality differences
    Women, on average, have more:

    Openness directed towards feelings and aesthetics rather than ideas. Women generally also have a stronger interest in people rather than things, relative to men (also interpreted as empathizing vs. systemizing).
    These two differences in part explain why women relatively prefer jobs in social or artistic areas. More men may like coding because it requires systemizing and even within SWEs, comparatively more women work on front end, which deals with both people and aesthetics.
    Extraversion expressed as gregariousness rather than assertiveness. Also, higher agreeableness.
    This leads to women generally having a harder time negotiating salary, asking for raises, speaking up, and leading. Note that these are just average differences and there’s overlap between men and women, but this is seen solely as a women’s issue. This leads to exclusory programs like Stretch and swaths of men without support.
    Neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance).This may contribute to the higher levels of anxiety women report on Googlegeist and to the lower number of women in high stress jobs.
    Note that contrary to what a social constructionist would argue, research suggests that “greater nation-level gender equality leads to psychological dissimilarity in men’s and women’s personality traits.” Because as “society becomes more prosperous and more egalitarian, innate dispositional differences between men and women have more space to develop and the gap that exists between men and women in their personality becomes wider.” We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism.

    Men’s higher drive for status
    We always ask why we don’t see women in top leadership positions, but we never ask why we see so many men in these jobs. These positions often require long, stressful hours that may not be worth it if you want a balanced and fulfilling life.

    Status is the primary metric that men are judged on[4], pushing many men into these higher paying, less satisfying jobs for the status that they entail. Note, the same forces that lead men into high pay/high stress jobs in tech and leadership cause men to take undesirable and dangerous jobs like coal mining, garbage collection, and firefighting, and suffer 93% of work-related deaths.

    Non-discriminatory ways to reduce the gender gap
    Below I’ll go over some of the differences in distribution of traits between men and women that I outlined in the previous section and suggest ways to address them to increase women’s representation in tech and without resorting to discrimination. Google is already making strides in many of these areas, but I think it’s still instructive to list them:

    Women on average show a higher interest in people and men in things
    We can make software engineering more people-oriented with pair programming and more collaboration. Unfortunately, there may be limits to how people-oriented certain roles and Google can be and we shouldn’t deceive ourselves or students into thinking otherwise (some of our programs to get female students into coding might be doing this).
    Women on average are more cooperative
    Allow those exhibiting cooperative behaviour to thrive. Recent updates to Perf may be doing this to an extent, but maybe there’s more we can do. This doesn’t mean that we should remove all competitiveness from Google. Competitiveness and self reliance can be valuable traits and we shouldn’t necessarily disadvantage those that have them, like what’s been done in education. Women on average are more prone to anxiety. Make tech and leadership less stressful. Google already partly does this with its many stress reduction courses and benefits.
    Women on average look for more work-life balance while men have a higher drive for status on average
    Unfortunately, as long as tech and leadership remain high status, lucrative careers, men may disproportionately want to be in them. Allowing and truly endorsing (as part of our culture) part time work though can keep more women in tech.
    The male gender role is currently inflexible
    Feminism has made great progress in freeing women from the female gender role, but men are still very much tied to the male gender role. If we, as a society, allow men to be more “feminine,” then the gender gap will shrink, although probably because men will leave tech and leadership for traditionally feminine roles.
    Philosophically, I don’t think we should do arbitrary social engineering of tech just to make it appealing to equal portions of both men and women. For each of these changes, we need principles reasons for why it helps Google; that is, we should be optimising for Google — with Google’s diversity being a component of that. For example currently those trying to work extra hours or take extra stress will inevitably get ahead and if we try to change that too much, it may have disastrous consequences. Also, when considering the costs and benefits, we should keep in mind that Google’s funding is finite so its allocation is more zero-sum than is generally acknowledged.

    The Harm of Google’s biases
    I strongly believe in gender and racial diversity, and I think we should strive for more. However, to achieve a more equal gender and race representation, Google has created several discriminatory practices:

    Programs, mentoring, and classes only for people with a certain gender or race [5]
    A high priority queue and special treatment for “diversity” candidates
    Hiring practices which can effectively lower the bar for “diversity” candidates by decreasing the false negative rate
    Reconsidering any set of people if it’s not “diverse” enough, but not showing that same scrutiny in the reverse direction (clear confirmation bias)
    Setting org level OKRs for increased representation which can incentivise illegal discrimination [6]
    These practices are based on false assumptions generated by our biases and can actually increase race and gender tensions. We’re told by senior leadership that what we’re doing is both the morally and economically correct thing to do, but without evidence this is just veiled left ideology[7] that can irreparably harm Google.

    Why we’re blind
    We all have biases and use motivated reasoning to dismiss ideas that run counter to our internal values. Just as some on the Right deny science that runs counter to the “God > humans > environment” hierarchy (e.g., evolution and climate change) the Left tends to deny science concerning biological differences between people (e.g., IQ[8] and sex differences). Thankfully, climate scientists and evolutionary biologists generally aren’t on the right. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of humanities and social scientists learn left (about 95%), which creates enormous confirmation bias, changes what’s being studied, and maintains myths like social constructionism and the gender wage gap[9]. Google’s left leaning makes us blind to this bias and uncritical of its results, which we’re using to justify highly politicized programs.

    In addition to the Left’s affinity for those it sees as weak, humans are generally biased towards protecting females. As mentioned before, this likely evolved because males are biologically disposable and because women are generally more cooperative and areeable than men. We have extensive government and Google programs, fields of study, and legal and social norms to protect women, but when a man complains about a gender issue issue [sic] affecting men, he’s labelled as a misogynist and whiner[10]. Nearly every difference between men and women is interpreted as a form of women’s oppression. As with many things in life, gender differences are often a case of “grass being greener on the other side”; unfortunately, taxpayer and Google money is spent to water only one side of the lawn.

    The same compassion for those seen as weak creates political correctness[11], which constrains discourse and is complacent to the extremely sensitive PC-authoritarians that use violence and shaming to advance their cause. While Google hasn’t harbored the violent leftists protests that we’re seeing at universities, the frequent shaming in TGIF and in our culture has created the same silence, psychologically unsafe environment.

    Suggestions
    I hope it’s clear that I’m not saying that diversity is bad, that Google or society is 100% fair, that we shouldn’t try to correct for existing biases, or that minorities have the same experience of those in the majority. My larger point is that we have an intolerance for ideas and evidence that don’t fit a certain ideology. I’m also not saying that we should restrict people to certain gender roles; I’m advocating for quite the opposite: treat people as individuals, not as just another member of their group (tribalism).

    My concrete suggestions are to:

    De-moralize diversity.
    As soon as we start to moralize an issue, we stop thinking about it in terms of costs and benefits, dismiss anyone that disagrees as immoral, and harshly punish those we see as villains to protect the “victims.”
    Stop alienating conservatives.
    Viewpoint diversity is arguably the most important type of diversity and political orientation is one of the most fundamental and significant ways in which people view things differently.
    In highly progressive environments, conservatives are a minority that feel like they need to stay in the closet to avoid open hostility. We should empower those with different ideologies to be able to express themselves.
    Alienating conservatives is both non-inclusive and generally bad business because conservatives tend to be higher in conscientiousness, which is require for much of the drudgery and maintenance work characteristic of a mature company.
    Confront Google’s biases.
    I’ve mostly concentrated on how our biases cloud our thinking about diversity and inclusion, but our moral biases are farther reaching than that.
    I would start by breaking down Googlegeist scores by political orientation and personality to give a fuller picture into how our biases are affecting our culture.
    Stop restricting programs and classes to certain genders or races.
    These discriminatory practices are both unfair and divisive. Instead focus on some of the non-discriminatory practices I outlined.
    Have an open and honest discussion about the costs and benefits of our diversity programs.
    Discriminating just to increase the representation of women in tech is as misguided and biased as mandating increases for women’s representation in the homeless, work-related and violent deaths, prisons, and school dropouts.
    There’s currently very little transparency into the extend of our diversity programs which keeps it immune to criticism from those outside its ideological echo chamber.
    These programs are highly politicized which further alienates non-progressives.
    I realise that some of our programs may be precautions against government accusations of discrimination, but that can easily backfire since they incentivise illegal discrimination.
    Focus on psychological safety, not just race/gender diversity.
    We should focus on psychological safety, which has shown positive effects and should (hopefully) not lead to unfair discrimination.
    We need psychological safety and shared values to gain the benefits of diversity
    Having representative viewpoints is important for those designing and testing our products, but the benefits are less clear for those more removed from UX.
    De-emphasise empathy.
    I’ve heard several calls for increased empathy on diversity issues. While I strongly support trying to understand how and why people think the way they do, relying on affective empathy — feeling another’s pain — causes us to focus on anecdotes, favour individuals similar to us, and harbour other irrational and dangerous biases. Being emotionally unengaged helps us better reason about the facts.
    Prioritise intention.
    Our focus on microaggressions and other unintentional transgressions increases our sensitivity, which is not universally positive: sensitivity increases both our tendency to take offence and our self censorship, leading to authoritarian policies. Speaking up without the fear of being harshly judged is central to psychological safety, but these practices can remove that safety by judging unintentional transgressions.
    Microaggression training incorrectly and dangerously equates speech with violence and isn’t backed by evidence.
    Be open about the science of human nature.
    Once we acknowledge that not all differences are socially constructed or due to discrimination, we open our eyes to a more accurate view of the human condition which is necessary if we actually want to solve problems.
    Reconsider making Unconscious Bias training mandatory for promo committees.
    We haven’t been able to measure any effect of our Unconscious Bias training and it has the potential for overcorrecting or backlash, especially if made mandatory.
    Some of the suggested methods of the current training (v2.3) are likely useful, but the political bias of the presentation is clear from the factual inaccuracies and the examples shown.
    Spend more time on the many other types of biases besides stereotypes. Stereotypes are much more accurate and responsive to new information than the training suggests (I’m not advocating for using stereotypes, I [sic] just pointing out the factual inaccuracy of what’s said in the training).
    [1] This document is mostly written from the perspective of Google’s Mountain View campus, I can’t speak about other offices or countries.

    [2] Of course, I may be biased and only see evidence that supports my viewpoint. In terms of political biases, I consider myself a classical liberal and strongly value individualism and reason. I’d be very happy to discuss any of the document further and provide more citations.

    [3] Throughout the document, by “tech”, I mostly mean software engineering.

    [4] For heterosexual romantic relationships, men are more strongly judged by status and women by beauty. Again, this has biological origins and is culturally universal.

    [5] Stretch, BOLD, CSSI, Engineering Practicum (to an extent), and several other Google funded internal and external programs are for people with a certain gender or race.

    [6] Instead set Googlegeist OKRs, potentially for certain demographics. We can increase representation at an org level by either making it a better environment for certain groups (which would be seen in survey scores) or discriminating based on a protected status (which is illegal and I’ve seen it done). Increased representation OKRs can incentivise the latter and create zero-sum struggles between orgs.

    [7] Communism promised to be both morally and economically superior to capitalism, but every attempt became morally corrupt and an economic failure. As it became clear that the working class of the liberal democracies wasn’t going to overthrow their “capitalist oppressors,” the Marxist intellectuals transitioned from class warfare to gender and race politics. The core oppressor-oppressed dynamics remained, but now the oppressor is the “white, straight, cis-gendered patriarchy.”

    [8] Ironically, IQ tests were initially championed by the Left when meritocracy meant helping the victims of the aristocracy.

    [9] Yes, in a national aggregate, women have lower salaries than men for a variety of reasons. For the same work though, women get paid just as much as men. Considering women spend more money than men and that salary represents how much the employees sacrifices (e.g. more hours, stress, and danger), we really need to rethink our stereotypes around power.

    [10] “The traditionalist system of gender does not deal well with the idea of men needing support. Men are expected to be strong, to not complain, and to deal with problems on their own. Men’s problems are more often seen as personal failings rather than victimhood,, due to our gendered idea of agency. This discourages men from bringing attention to their issues (whether individual or group-wide issues), for fear of being seen as whiners, complainers, or weak.”

    [11] Political correctness is defined as “the avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against,” which makes it clear why it’s a phenomenon of the Left and a tool of authoritarians.
    Update 10:00am AEST: Google’s new Vice President of Diversity, Integrity & Governance, Danielle Brown, issued the following statement in response to the internal employee memo:

    Googlers,

    I’m Danielle, Google’s brand new VP of Diversity, Integrity & Governance. I started just a couple of weeks ago, and I had hoped to take another week or so to get the lay of the land before introducing myself to you all. But given the heated debate we’ve seen over the past few days, I feel compelled to say a few words.

    Many of you have read an internal document shared by someone in our engineering organization, expressing views on the natural abilities and characteristics of different genders, as well as whether one can speak freely of these things at Google. And like many of you, I found that it advanced incorrect assumptions about gender. I’m not going to link to it here as it’s not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages.

    Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate. We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, and we’ll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul. As Ari Balogh said in his internal G+ post, “Building an open, inclusive environment is core to who we are, and the right thing to do. ‘Nuff said.”

    Google has taken a strong stand on this issue, by releasing its demographic data and creating a company wide OKR on diversity and inclusion. Strong stands elicit strong reactions. Changing a culture is hard, and it’s often uncomfortable. But I firmly believe Google is doing the right thing, and that’s why I took this job.

    Part of building an open, inclusive environment means fostering a culture in which those with alternative views, including different political views, feel safe sharing their opinions. But that discourse needs to work alongside the principles of equal employment found in our Code of Conduct, policies, and anti-discrimination laws.

    I’ve been in the industry for a long time, and I can tell you that I’ve never worked at a company that has so many platforms for employees to express themselves—TGIF, Memegen, internal G+, thousands of discussion groups. I know this conversation doesn’t end with my email today. I look forward to continuing to hear your thoughts as I settle in and meet with Googlers across the company.

    Thanks,

    Danielle

  10. psecomb says:

    If the universities are such hotbeds of rape, why on earth are people still sending their kids there? Why are overseas students still coming?

  11. Jody says:

    Viral Google email: ‘Men better suited to the job’
    Backlash over the memo drew a response from Danielle Brown, who joined Google in late June. PHOTO
    Backlash over the memo drew a response from Danielle Brown, who joined Google in late June. PHOTO
    JACK NICASThe Wall Street Journal9:13AM August 7, 2017
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    Google’s new diversity chief criticised the contents of an employee’s memo that went viral inside the company for suggesting Google has fewer female engineers because men are better suited for the job.

    Danielle Brown, Google’s vice president for diversity and inclusion, sent a letter to employees Saturday saying the employee’s memo “advanced incorrect assumptions about gender” and is “not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages,” according to a copy of the statement published by Motherboard, which earlier reported on the employee’s memo.

    The Google employee argued company initiatives to increase diversity discriminate against some employees, and that a liberal bias among executives and many employees makes it difficult to discuss the issue at Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., according to a copy of the memo published by Gizmodo.

    Some Google employees denounced the memo on Twitter, and Motherboard reported it was being shared widely among staff. That backlash drew a response from Ms. Brown, who joined Google in late June.

    “Given the heated debate we’ve seen over the past few days, I feel compelled to say a few words,” she said in the statement. “Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture.”

    When reached for comment, a Google spokesman referred to Ms. Brown’s statement and an additional statement posted online by Google engineering executive Ari Balogh, one of the managers of the employee who wrote the memo. Mr. Balogh wrote the memo “troubled me deeply” because it suggested “most women, or men, feel or act a certain way. That is stereotyping, and it is harmful.”

    The controversy over the memo comes as the tech industry struggles with gender and diversity issues. Many tech companies have admitted a majority of their employees are white or Asian men, particularly in technical and leadership roles. Some tech companies and investors have faced a string of sexual-harassment scandals over the past year.

    For its part, Google is pushing back against a Labor Department investigation into its pay practices that spilled into court recently.

    The Labor Department in January sued Google for more compensation data as part of a routine audit into the company’s pay practices, a probe that is possible because Google provides advertising and cloud services to the federal government. Last month a judge ruled Google had to turn over a narrower set of data than what the department sought, saying that the request was too broad and invaded Google employees’ privacy.

    During the case, a Labor Department official testified investigators found evidence that Google systematically pays women less than men.

    Google has denied the accusations, saying its internal analyses have shown no pay gap among Alphabet’s nearly 76,000 employees. The Labor Department hasn’t formally charged Google with any wrongdoing.

    Google said in its annual diversity report in June that 31 per cent of its employees are women, unchanged from a year prior. The percentage of black employees also was unchanged at 2 per cent, and the number of Hispanic workers increased by 1 percentage point, to 4 per cent. Most Google workers remain white and Asian men.

    The Wall Street Journal

  12. Alice Thermopolis says:

    Camille Paglia’s take on the HRC survey would be interesting.

    She’s in fine form here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlYR1isM2o8