Google's Pichai emphasizes importance of diversity

Pichai cancelled the meeting after several questions employees had for the management began to leak online from the company's internal messaging service, AP reported.

The company scheduled an employee town hall meeting on Thursday to discuss its diversity efforts and the controversy surrounding the anti-diversity memo written by former employee James Damore, who was sacked for writing that memo.

Over the past two days, I have had the chance to meet with so many people here, and I have read each of your emails carefully.

"We had hoped to have a frank, open discussion today as we always do to bring us together and move forward", wrote Pichai.

The CEO said that the employees had expressed concerns about their safety as they anxious about being "outed", if they publicly raised questions in the meeting hall. "Googlers are writing in, concerned about their safety and anxious they may be "outed" publicly for asking a question".

The fired Google employee whose memo caused an uproar was back on the company's campus late Thursday afternoon.

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Many widely condemned his claim that biological differences between the sexes is why women struggle to reach the top positions in tech.

Though one might argue for a right to free speech, however unpopular, such protections are generally limited to government and other public employees - and to unionized workers with rights to disciplinary hearings before any firing.

This whole blowup at Google underscores that tech companies are not diverse workplaces and efforts to foster diversity lead to conflict that, poorly handled, leads to backlash. "To suggest a group of our colleagues, have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK", Pichai said in an internal email titled "Our Words Matter" that Recode obtained and published this week.

A similar sentiment was recently expressed by Google's recently appointed Vice President of Diversity Danielle Brown who said that Alphabet's subsidiary seeks to nurture an open working environment where employees don't feel threatened or afraid of sharing their beliefs so long as such views are in line with the company's Code of Conduct.

Damore, who landed his job at Google by doing well in a coding competition, didn't go into his future plans apart from acknowledging a number of job offers. "They also tend to be overly emotional, particularly when fired for writing diversity memos, and can become hysterical when held accountable". And if you're one of those aggrieved white guys out there harboring the odd misconception that your voice is being unfairly stifled by "political correctness", say it 15 more times, because it just doesn't seem like this concept has sunk in.

Google Thursday canceled a Town Hall meant to air viewpoints on diversity, sexism and free speech, citing worker safety concerns.

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