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Google engineer's anti-diversity manifesto: not this again

Jyotsna Pattabiraman
10th Aug 2017
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The screed from (since fired) Google engineer James Damore that was making the rounds evoked a familiar "not this again!" response from me. For other female engineers and I, it had the familiar stench of veiled slander and casual judgment that we've been hearing ever since we decided to study engineering.

women_barrier

"Why did you take an engineering seat? You're just going to get married and drop out, you're depriving a man of a livelihood", "women are not meant to code", "sit over there, way at the back, let the boys sit in front", and more such were just a few of the statements that were casually dropped at college and the workplace, although none of my co-workers was stupid enough to write any of this down. One was particularly vocal about why women were only suited for household chores but even he was not boneheaded enough to make a document and circulate it.

They say that living well is the best revenge. I thought that the best response to the infamous anti-diversity manifesto that James Damore penned at Google would be to tell you how we have benefited at Grow Fit by doing exactly the opposite, by having a diverse team of varied talents.

By any standard, we're quite the melting pot. Not just gender but variations in age and skillset make working at Grow Fit tremendously enjoyable. We have doctors, engineers, food technologists, chefs, writers, Millennials, mums, marathoners, dog-lovers, cat-owners and more. About half our workforce is women and most of these women have Master's degrees in STEM disciplines.

My life has been enriched immensely. I've learned to like horror movies, been diagnosed with trypophobia, tried to make sense of rapid-fire Hindi conversations and understood how to make sense of my teenager and more. I've spent a lot of time in the corporate world and never had this much fun.

I won't tell you what studies say about diversity and company performance. For that, you can check here. But yes, we're seeing it.

The mills of god grind slowly but they grind exceedingly fine. And so I go to sleep peacefully knowing fully well that James Damore will be paid in full. That's exactly what happened to the chap who was the most vociferous about the unfitness of women to be at work. He later married a woman with a PhD and they were blessed with daughters.

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