"Google's Ideological Echo Chamber" is an internal memo written in August 2017 by American-based Google engineer James Damore on the company's ideological stance toward diversity. The memo focuses on Google allegedly shutting down the conversation about diversity, and suggests that gender inequality in the technology industry is "in part" due to biological differences between men and women. Google CEO Sundar Pichai responded by saying that the memo "advanc[ed] harmful gender stereotypes", and on August 7 Damore was fired.
The memo and subsequent dismissal provoked a strong reaction from commentators on both sides. Initially shared on an internal mailing list, the paper was leaked to the public via the Vice vertical Motherboard resulting in heated controversy across social media. The company has formally expressed they don't support the document and several current and former employees were highly critical of it. According to Wired, Google's internal forums showed "plenty of support" for Damore who said he received private thanks from employees who were afraid to come forward. Several management and employment law experts noted that while Damore could challenge his firing in court, his potential case would be weak and Google would have several defensible reasons for firing him; the discriminatory content of his memo could be cited as evidence of a "hostile work environment" in sexual harassment lawsuits against Google, and that Damore would be unable to fairly assess or supervise the work of female colleagues. Wikipedia