Silicon Valley's White Male Panic Takes Root at Google

04 March, 2018, 05:02 | Author: Elena Summers
  • Image source Neon Tommy via Flickr

A former employee at Youtube is suing the media giant and its parent company for allegedly refusing to hire white and Asian men for technical positions.

"For the past several years, Google has had and implemented clear and irrefutable policies, memorialized in writing and consistently implemented in practice, of systematically discriminating in favor (of) job applicants who are Hispanic, African American, or female, and against Caucasian and Asian men", according to the suit.

According to Wilberg, he was sacked past year in November after he talked about the "illegal and discriminatory hiring practices" in the company.

Arne Wilberg, 40, claims that he and other recruiters were ordered to cancel interviews with any job applicants who were not women, black, or Hispanic, and to "purge entirely" any applicants who did not fall into any of those categories, the Wall Street Journal reports. The lawsuit claims YouTube recruiters previous year were told not to interview applicants who weren't black, female, or Hispanic, and to "purge entirely" applications from potential employees who didn't fit those categories. In another email, the same manager wrote, "We should only consider L3s from our underrepresented groups". "We have a clear policy to hire candidates based on their merit, not their identity", a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement. My only question is in response to the Google response from spokeswoman Gina Sciglano quoted below.

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Further, she stated that the company is not hesitant in accepting that they look for a diverse pool of qualified candidates for open roles, and this helps them in hiring the best people, improve culture and build better products. He also claimed in the lawsuit that he was sacked because of his complaints that he was being discriminated against for being a White male.

A few months back, James Damore, a former Google employee, claimed that he was sacked for writing an anti-diversity memo, which triggered loads of controversy both within and outside the organization.

The National Labor Relations Board's general counsel would later rule that Google had not violated the law when it fired him, causing Damore to withdraw the complaint he filed with the agency. In a way, Google even popularized the idea of transparency around diversity numbers as a defensive tactic against claims about systemic inequality. He also claims that Google retaliated against him for opposing these policies, eventually firing him in November 2017. During that period, he claims the company put a freeze on hiring White and Asian men while also setting hiring quotas for so-called "diversity candidates". Six months after the conversation he was sacked.

According to the lawsuit, Wilberg's attempt to raise the issue of quotas did not go unnoticed.


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