So, about this Googler’s manifesto.
Yonatan Zunger

First, just as your former employer did, you assert something or other about not understanding gender, without support, and loftily move on to the next “conclusion.” Well, congrats for stating the obvious. Does anyone really understand gender? Can you or anyone else with an ounce of intellectual honesty dare to claim that the academic case is closed in gender or the lack of differentiation thereof?

Second, your argument builds a strawman on the memo author’s suggestion to de-emphasize empathy (in engineering) by equating this request with ignoring or setting empathy aside. For extra credit, your argument arrives at this: “ Essentially, engineering is all about cooperation, collaboration, and empathy for both your colleagues and your customers.” Well, obvious factoid #2. Can’t we say this about just any other profession? The underlying point about female empathy is that they will naturally gravitate toward professions where empathy takes a more prominent role than engineering. Teaching children and nursing often come up as examples of honorable, essential professions where women occupy a larger percentage of the employee population. Is this bad? On what grounds is it fundamentally erroneous to notice or point this reality? (For extra credit, look for matriarchal societies where men predominate in nursing or as primary school teachers.)

As for point number 3, why is (a) wishing to have a discussion, while (b) offering some suggestions to increase diversity a wrong-headed and harmful thing to do? Here’s what’s harmful: Google, by firing the memo writer, guarantees the preservation if its less diverse environment. Poignantly, this not only takes root along gender lines, but along intellectual ones. And, oh, look. Google is supposed to be a place for big thinkers.

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