Translating the email from Google's VP of diversity into plain English
Recently, an engineer at Google distributed a ten-page memorandum calling for greater ideological diversity at Google and a fresh look into Google's current policies on diversity and inclusion.
The memorandum drew a quick reply from Danielle Brown, Google's new V.P. of diversity, integrity, and governance.
I have spent seven years in Cambridge, Mass.; studied for a semester in the Soviet Union; and lived for seven years in the Bay Area. Please therefore allow me to translate Brown's email into plain English.
I'm Danielle, Google's brand new VP of Diversity, Integrity & Governance. I started just a couple of weeks ago, and I had hoped to take another week or so to get the lay of the land before introducing myself to you all. But given the heated debate we've seen over the past few days, I feel compelled to say a few words.
(I am the new grand inquisitor and head of the Ministry of Truth. Someone has already tried to screw with me. This is the only warning you are all going to get.)
Many of you have read an internal document shared by someone in our engineering organization, expressing views on the natural abilities and characteristics of different genders, as well as whether one can speak freely of these things at Google. And like many of you, I found that it advanced incorrect assumptions about gender. I'm not going to link to it here as it's not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages.
(Some dissident had the audacity to speak his mind and contradict the party line. I can't disprove what he actually wrote, so I will simply label his arguments false and declare his heretical doctrine unfit for distribution or debate. You therefore distribute and discuss at your peril.)
Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate. We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, and we'll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul. As Ari Balogh said in his internal G+ post, "Building an open, inclusive environment is core to who we are, and the right thing to do. 'Nuff said."
(We are tolerant and inclusive because we declare ourselves to be so. Ari Balogh has input into my performance review and compensation.)
Google has taken a strong stand on this issue, by releasing its demographic data and creating a company-wide OKR on diversity and inclusion. Strong stands elicit strong reactions. Changing a culture is hard, and it's often uncomfortable. But I firmly believe Google is doing the right thing, and that's why I took this job.
(Senior-most management backs me. I will not hesitate to crack heads and make your lives a living hell, so if you don't like it, suffer in silence, because my job is to enforce the party line.)
Part of building an open, inclusive environment means fostering a culture in which those with alternative views, including different political views, feel safe sharing their opinions. But that discourse needs to work alongside the principles of equal employment found in our Code of Conduct, policies, and anti-discrimination laws.
(We tolerate only views that fall within the party line. If you express views that cross that line, you will get fired and possibly sued.)
I've been in the industry for a long time, and I can tell you that I've never worked at a company that has so many platforms for employees to express themselves – TGIF, Memegen, internal G+, thousands of discussion groups. I know this conversation doesn't end with my email today. I look forward to continuing to hear your thoughts as I settle in and meet with Googlers across the company.
(I have gotten more people fired than I can remember. We are monitoring all internal communications. If we cross paths, you'd better cheer like I'm Kim Jong-un and you're a North Korean peasant at a rally.)
(Watch your asses.)
(I'm so high up, I need to use only my first name.)