Alphabet Inc , parent of Google, is under fire for being too diverse, or else not tolerant enough depending on which side of the political spectrum you listen to. The firm, who fired an employee for wantonly bringing unwanted attention to a sensitive topic at is headquarters, is trying to navigate its way through these murky political waters right now. The latest leak probably isn’t going to help it do that.
Google diversity Summit secrets emerge
The take from Jeong is that the details that have emerged are pretty tame. The source, who is a person familiar with the matter says that James Damore, the man at the center of this controversy, attended a voluntary single day summit on the topic of diversity and inclusion.
Jeong contends that this secret summit likely has a lot in common with the Google Unconscious Bias @ Work, and Bias Busting @ Work presentations. One of these, Unconscious Bias @ Work, has been posted publicly on Youtube.
The slides for the other program are also available from Google.
Jeong says that it’s possible that “the actual contents of the presentation vary in practice”. The implication here is, of course, that the actual contents of the program are not very controversial.
That seems to be what is central to this controversy. For all of the media attention, it doesn’t matter much. Mr. Damore’s diversity ideas are fairly well worn at this point.
His focus on the biological difference between men and women was fairly shallow. He also failed to explain how anything he had seen at the firm was bad in object or effect. The effect that the controversy had on the firm’s stock should be testament to that.
Alphabet Inc hasn’t really been rocked
It’s clear that the diversity tiff has embroiled Google and parent company Alphabet in a fight it wanted no part of. The firms celebrate diversity, in large part because being more inclusive helps them to make more money. Google doesn’t want women to go and find a competing search engine after all.
Over the last five days, as this conversation has raged, stock in Alphabet Inc has lost about 1.06 percent. In the meantime the Nasdaq, a broad measure of tech, fell 0.94 percent. There’s a good 0.12 percent of a gap that needs to be explained.
Talk to any stock market watcher and they’ll say “noise”. The market is weird, and not all of its movements are explicable. Stock doesn’t ordinarily react to junior employees being fired. It doesn’t change base on the opinions of the alt right either.
Because of the reactionary nature of the internet, however, it’s not likely that any of this is going away soon. It seems that Mr. Damore has somewhat embraced his minor celebrity. As much as Google likely wished it could stop paying attention to diversity, this is likely a minor preoccupation for some time to come.