James Damore, author of a controversial memo that pointed out how conformist Google’s corporate “culture” had become, is now suing the company not for wrongful termination, but for discrimination while he worked there. This strategy enables him to win his case and, despite being likely awarded no real money, having proved his point.
The suit — which seems balanced on the whole, and confined to the factual — reveals what a hostile work environment at Google that Damore had to endure:
According to his filing, Google employs “illegal hiring quotas to fill its desired percentages of women and favored minority candidates, and openly shames managers of business units who fail to meet their quotas—in the process, openly denigrating male and Caucasian employees as less favored than others.”
The suit also claims that the “numerical presence of women celebrated at Google” was based “solely due to their gender” while the “presence of Caucasians and males was mocked with ‘boos’ during companywide weekly meetings.”
…To underscore her point that Google’s policies need to be amended, she cited so-called TGIF meetings at Google, telling reporters that during Damore’s tenure, “managers were called out and shamed and mocked if they didn’t have 50/50 gender parity in [their respective] units.” She called the goal “fair” but asked, rhetorically: “How do you get there? Job fairs. Making yourself more attractive. Not by saying, ‘White guy, you can’t have that job because that’s reserved for a woman or [other] minority.’”
Nothing here is surprising. Tech has left the years of innovation behind; Google is messing around with AI and other tech that will mature in a few dozen years, but that is being handled by unwashed geeklings hidden in back rooms. The rest of Google has become as corporate as Monsanto, GM, or Microsoft, and for that, they need obedient little tools to carry out the detailed tasks handed down from above.
As a result, they are turning to women, Asians, and other minorities because these groups tend to be detail-focused but oblivious to the big picture, which means that they will carry out paradoxical or pointless instructions to the letter, which is what administration needs in order to remain in power.
Although this seems like Google is strong, what is really announces is that Google has become weak. It has moved from the youth of a company to old age, mainly because its existing product does not produce enough money, and its future products are not yet realized. This is a company in crisis, and James Damore is bringing that to light for the benefit of all, including Google itself.