Ex ‘Google manifesto’ engineer compares being a conservative at tech giant to ‘being gay in the 50’s’
Fired Google employee James Damore really has no regrets about the manifesto that got him canned.
In an interview with Business Insider, Damore dismissed the feelings of female Google employees who said they felt attacked by what he wrote by claiming he was “trying to fix the culture” at the company. He went on to compare his conservative views, which he said marginalized him at the tech giant, to the homophobia of yesteryear.
“I was simply trying to fix the culture in many ways. And really help a lot of people who are currently marginalized at Google by pointing out these huge biases that we have in this monolithic culture where anyone with a dissenting view can’t even express themselves,” Damore told BI. “Really, it’s like being gay in the 1950s. These conservatives have to stay in the closet and have to mask who they really are.”
Interviewer Steve Kovach dug in, claiming that the women who felt slighted by Damore’s manifesto didn’t feel attacked by his political leanings.
“They felt attacked because of the assumptions you were claiming about women,” Kovach said. “What do you have to say about that?”
“I was simply talking about the population level distributions,” Damore retorted. “The document was simply trying to address why there may be fewer women in technology than men. And it never said anything about the women at Google being any different than the men at Google.”