The company's decision to fire James Damore, a software engineer who wrote the contentious memo, has angered some employees who view his dismissal as a betrayal of this open-discourse culture. Damore said women can't get ahead in the tech industry because of biological differences with men.
Damore lost his job Monday after a firestorm erupted over the weekend when his memo went viral.
In "Why I was sacked by Google", Damore reveals the toxic workplace culture in the company, where sharing opinions is limited to a certain ideological spectrum. The document slammed Google's "politically correct monoculture" and advanced gender stereotypes about women in the workplace.
Google's internal "Dory" system allows employees to ask questions and then vote on questions posed by other employees so managers can address the most pressing ones. But on external websites, some Google employees who had spoken out against Damore's memo were being harassed.
Quite surprisingly, Apple employees were split nearly evenly with 51 to 49 employees favouring Google's decision to fire Damore.
For those not following along, Damore, a senior engineer at the world's biggest search engine, wrote a memo about a month ago entitled "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber".
Management at the largest tech firms, including Google, have publicly committed to diversifying their workforces, although the percentage of women in engineering and management roles remains low at many companies.
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"Googlers are writing in, concerned about their safety and anxious they may be 'outed" publicly for asking a question in the town hall, ' he explained.
In 2015 the U.S. Department of Labor launched a contract-compliance review of Google's employment practices related to diversity.
Pichai said in an email to staff that several Google employees became fearful for their safety and grew concerned about being outed for speaking up at the town hall.
Damore has been on a media tour, giving interviews to Bloomberg and conservative YouTube host Stefan Molyneux. Fired4Truth, widely believed to be Damore's Twitter account, hit 35,000 followers in a matter of days. Damore added that his firing "neatly confirms that point".
One San Francisco lawyer, James Finberg, says his office has been contacted by about 70 female employees at Google in just the past few weeks with complaints about pay inequality, promotions and job assignments. Next to Pichai is the Google logo but instead the text reads "Not So Much".
A Google representative did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. His words came hours after he canceled a company-wide meeting on gender issues. It signifies their belief that liberals stifle free speech by humiliating right-wing voices.