23 Aug Google chief vows to make company more inclusive as he responds to ‘offensive’ memo which ‘crossed a line’
Google chief executive Sundar Pichai has been forced to cut short his summer holiday in order to address employees directly as he seeks to defuse a “difficult” diversity row which has engulfed his company since the weekend.
The affair was sparked by an unattributed company memo circulated on Sunday which claimed, among other things, that “biological differences” were amongst the reasons for a paucity of women working at Google. Pichai responded directly to the memo, saying it “crossed the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”
In a memo to employees, Pichai wrote: “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.”