After years of Big Tech being in the spotlight for anti-conservative bias, Google appears to have cut back its far-left diversity and inclusion programs.
“Google has significantly rolled back its diversity and inclusion initiatives in an apparent effort to avoid being perceived as anti-conservative,” eight current and former employees told NBC News in a May 13 article.
One example of a program cutback was the “Sojourn,” which NBC News described as “a comprehensive racial justice program created for employees to learn about implicit bias and how to navigate conversations about race and inequality.” The program was reportedly “cut entirely, according to seven former and current employees.”
Both current and former employees believe this program was cut for political reasons:
Seven current and former employees from across a range of teams and roles at the company said separately that they all believed the reason behind cutting Sojourn and taking employees off diversity projects to move them elsewhere at Google was to shield the company from backlash from conservatives.
An anonymous Google employee told NBC news that “One of the major motivations for cutting Sojourn is that the company doesn’t want to be seen as anti-conservative,” The employee explained further that “It does not want to invite lawsuits or claims by right-wing white employees about Google discriminating against them.”
Google’s chief diversity officer Melonie Parker denied these claims and instead suggested: “We’re really maturing our programs to make sure we’re building our capability.”
Parker added that changes Google is making to its diversity and inclusion work is focused on the need to “provide a scalable solution across the globe.” NBC News observed that “Google acknowledged it had ended Sojourn, but said it was not in reaction to conservative criticism.”
One way that tech companies have strives to cater to and retain employees of non-white backgrounds is by “conducting companywide training programs on how to detect and counteract prejudice in the workplace.”
Google’s politically-charged liberal culture regarding gender, race, and privilege in general made national news when it was pilloried by former software engineer at Google James Damore in a massive memo. NBC News summarized that Damore slammed diversity initiatives as a “waste of time” because the reason men are driven to be engineers more than women is due to biological differences. He was later fired from the company for allegedly violating Google’s policies regarding “advancing harmful gender stereotypes.”
Damore was patient zero in the now household issue that is Big Tech bias against conservatives.
Some employees told NBC news that the very word “diversity” has been de-emphasized or even scrubbed from official meetings to avoid controversy.
Censorious tech activist and former CEO of Reddit Ellen Pao condemned Google’s avoidance of diversity issues in order to hide from conservative critique. “If companies try to avoid addressing problems by banning certain words and reducing D&I work, it's just going to get worse, not better,” she said. “You cannot build a company culture by focusing on avoiding litigation.”
Parker alleged that the company is bringing in outside contractors because it lacked the internal expertise. But, according to NBC News, three current employees have allegedly complained that “they felt the newer programs introduced from outside vendors lack the framework that previous training programs had to help orient white people to conversations about racial justice.”