Google‘s CEO Sundar Pichai has cancelled its much anticipated meeting to talk about gender issues today, after its employees expressed concern over online harassment they had begin to receive when their questions and names have been published outside the company on a variety of largely alt-right sites.
Pichai was set to address the search giant’s 60,000 employees in 30 minutes in an all-hands meeting about a recent post by fired employee James Damore, in which he claimed that women might not be as good as men at tech due to biological reasons, like “neuroticism.” In other words, they could not handle stress and high pressure as much.
Speaking of high pressure, Google is under that for sure in the wake of Damore’s blog and the reaction it has engendered from outside the company, especially among deeply conservative sites like Breitbart and others.
Here is Pichai’s letter:
TL;DR Sorry for the late notice but we are going to cancel today’s Town Hall.
We had hoped to have a frank, open discussion today as we always do to bring us together and move forward. But our Dory questions appeared externally this afternoon, and on some websites Googlers are now being named personally. Googlers are writing in, concerned about their safety and worried they may be “outed” publicly for asking a question in the Town Hall.
In recognition of Googlers’ concerns, we need to step back and create a better set of conditions for us to have the discussion. So in the coming days we will find several forums to gather and engage with Googlers, where people can feel comfortable to speak freely. We’ll share details soon.
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. The vast majority of you are very supportive of our decision. A smaller percentage of you wish we would do more. And some are worried that you cannot speak out at work freely. All of your voices and opinions matter…and I want to hear them.
In the meantime, let’s not forget what unites us as a company– our desire to build great products for everyone that make a big difference in their lives. I have been in a few product discussions today and felt energized by the important things we are working on. We can, and will continue, to come together to do the very best for the people we serve.
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Google CEO cancels all-hands meeting about fired engineer as employees worry about online harassment