In the last couple of weeks, we have had two big examples of people being sacked for violating the tenets of ‘diversity’. One was Sunday Times columnist, Kevin Myers, who was sacked on a charge of ‘anti-Semitism’. Myers is far from being an anti-Semite but he did write a sentence in his column that could be interpreted that way. Considering his record of anti-anti-Semitism, he should have been given the benefit of the doubt. The second example concerned an employee at Google in America, sacked for violating the company’s ‘diversity’ policy.
The employee, James Damore, circulated a lengthy memo to his fellow employees wondering if Google is as diverse as it claims when it is almost impossible for an employee to express a conservative opinion given the overwhelming left-wing bias of the giant corporation.
He then turned his guns to an underlying assumption of ‘diversity’ policies, which is that if a workplace isn’t diverse enough (in this case, that it doesn’t have an equal number of men and women), it has to be due to discrimination of some form. Damore challenged this. He said the real reason could be that men and women often have different preferences due to the fact that our brains are different and therefore men and women will often self-select into different occupations.
In Damore’s own technology sector there are a lot more men than women and Damore wondered if this is really due to societal discrimination and gender stereotyping. Feminists insist that it is gender stereotyping which is really responsible for men being more attracted to occupations involving ‘things’ (cars, computers, engineering, building etc) and women to occupations involving care of people (nursing, child-care, teaching etc). They say it has nothing to do with natural ‘differences’ between the sexes.
This ‘nature vs nurture’ question is a massive one. (For the record, I think it’s nurture and nature), but Damore was basically sacked for asking the question and tilting towards nature. (For a take on some of the science around sex differences read here).
Within Google, some of his fellow employees were outraged by the memo and basically declared it was sexist to even bring up the question, never mind offer the answer he did, and therefore he had violated the company’s ‘diversity’ policy, violated its company Code of Conduct and therefore deserved and got the sack. Wow.
A note from Google management to its employees said: “To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK. It is contrary to our basic values and our Code of Conduct, which expects ‘each Googler to do their utmost to create a workplace culture that is free of harassment, intimidation, bias and unlawful discrimination.’ The memo has clearly impacted our co-workers, some of whom are hurting and feel judged based on their gender. Our co-workers shouldn’t have to worry that each time they open their mouths to speak in a meeting, they have to prove that they are not like the memo states, being ‘agreeable’ rather than ‘assertive,’ showing a ‘lower stress tolerance,’ or being ‘neurotic.’” (Here is a take on the Damore memo by a woman who doesn’t feel a bit insulted by it).
The irony is that the sacking Damore proved his point. You cannot be a Google employee and openly express opinions which suggest men and women are different, or which otherwise challenge the ‘diversity’ agenda. In fact, in ever more workplaces, the penalty for saying something that deviates from the politically correct orthodoxy is occupational and maybe reputational death.
This is fast becoming the secular equivalent of the ‘No Catholics need apply’ or ‘No Jews need apply’ signs of old. In this case it is ‘No conservatives, no orthodox Christians and no libertarians need apply’.
(P.S. If some Google employees were saying nasty things over lunch about say, Christians, would management crack down on that as well so as to make the Google workplace a ‘safe space’ for Christians? My opinion is that Google should leave well enough alone unless an employee was being directly bullied and harassed as opposed to simply being exposed to opinions they don’t happen to like).