How a former Google employee and a law doctor created a controversy
The software engineer fired for writing a memo critical of Google’s diversity hiring policies faces an uphill legal battle, but he could succeed in prolonging the controversy and force the tech company to settle. Experts say it could also challenge the company’s stance on maternity and medical leave.
How we create a company
During his six years at Google, Ron Dolin helped create several home runs. But he began to worry. She was spending too much time at work and missing family events to be happy with her career. I wanted new challenges.
Fortunately, financial freedom gave her many options. He spent millions of dollars on stock awards and invested in rental properties in Denver, a business he now runs full-time.
He then spent sleepless nights thinking about what to do next. He feared losing his advantage if he didn’t find something challenging.
After a few months, his future crystallized during visits to his gym in Palo Alto. His peers kept asking him to check out this or that startup. Dolin is now the founder of Rent Marketer, which provides software to property managers and landlords. Your company employs seven people in a Denver office. He plans to hire dozens more in the next two years.
What we did
In the early days, Google employees were given free rein to campaign for change. But as the company expanded, that spontaneity was replaced by budgets and organizational charts that emphasized the gulf between managers and foot soldiers.
After years as a software engineer, 45-year-old Ron Dolin felt he needed a more mature career path. He then left Google to pursue his passion for real estate. Now managing a million-dollar rental portfolio in Denver, he’s staying overnight at UC Hastings to get his intellectual property law degree.
In recent weeks, members of Congress have criticized Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., for its hiring practices. Last week, a diversity recruiter for the tech giant announced she was being laid off. Earlier this month, Timnit Gebru, who helped Google develop artificial intelligence software, said she was fired after refusing to back down from a research paper on the ethics of artificial intelligence programs. She was the second high-profile black woman to leave the company this year.
Why did we do it?
Many people have been laid off in recent months as Google and other tech companies cut costs. In an open letter to chief executive Sundar Pichai, the former employees say they were given insufficient notice of their layoffs and their previously approved leaves were often shortened.
The former Google employee who wrote a 10-page memo questioning the company’s diversity efforts says he is considering legal action. James Damore, a software engineer at the Mountain View, California-based search giant, said women are underrepresented in technology due to biological differences and that the company has a politically correct monoculture that silences conservative views.
Thousands of employees have spoken about their frustrations with the company over its handling of sexual harassment complaints, its AI contracts with the US military and its plans to censor search results. A former Google employee says she was subjected to defensiveness, racism, gaslighting and investigative censorship during her time at the company.
How did we do it
Two weeks ago, a Google employee, director of the Black Googler Network, a company-wide employee resource group, said she was fired after raising concerns about how the company handles diversity issues. She claimed she was subjected to defensiveness, racism, gaslighting and investigative censorship by company leaders, according to the Platformer technology newsletter.
In June, the co-chairs of the Black Googler Network worked with thousands of employees to put together a list of demands on workforce representation, internal recognition, mental health, and adequate time off. But the company only committed to “diluted” commitments, he said.
The memo also alleges that Google leans too far to the left and has created a politically correct monoculture that silences conservative voices. It was signed by more than a dozen former Google employees who now work at other technology companies. They also sent a letter to CEO Sundar Pichai and other executives asking the company to treat layoffs more sensitively and honor pre-approved time off.