Google's diversity crisis worsens, CEO cancels town hall

Dozens Of Female Employees Accuse Google Of Gender Discrimination

Dozens Of Female Employees Accuse Google Of Gender Discrimination

Mr. Pichai's comments came shortly after a memo criticizing Google's diversity practices that was authored by one of the firm's software engineers went viral within the tech giant before making its way to the Internet, sparking outrage in the Silicon Valley. A group of more than 60 women is reportedly considering suing Google over gender discrimination, sexism, and the very pay gap they experience when compared to male coworkers in the same roles.

Inside Google, the memo and its fallout represent perhaps the biggest setback to what has been a foundational premise for employees: the freedom to speak up about anything and everything. "They also tend to be overly emotional, particularly when fired for writing diversity memos, and can become hysterical when held accountable".

"And they just punished me and shamed me for doing it", he added. "No, you can't say that. You belong here and we need you." he said. "Looking at who works for Google, it all makes sense now." the caption read. 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.

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

"We had hoped to have a frank, open discussion today as we always do to bring us together and move forward", Pichai said in the memo.

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The questions that were planned by "Googlers" appeared externally this afternoon and some employees are being named on "some websites", CEO Sundar Pichai said in an email sent to employees.

In a memo to staff on Thursday a half-hour before the meeting was to start, CEO Sundar Pichai announced that they had canceled it, saying, "Googlers are writing in, concerned about their safety and anxious they may be "outed" publicly for asking a question in the Town Hall". Google offers a variety of education opportunities focused on coding, as do many other large tech companies; this event was a part of its "Made with Code" program, aimed at young women.

During his Thursday appearance, Mr. Pichai said that as Google continues to build products for an global audience, it must strive for its workforce to be an accurate representation of that audience, having people of all genders, ethnicities, backgrounds, and religions. And that's how we think about it.

"There's a place for you at Google", he said. "Don't let anyone tell you otherwise".

"We'll find a better way to help our employees connect and discuss these important issues further", a Google spokesperson said in response to an AFP inquiry.

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