Susan Wojcicki, Chief Executive Officer of YouTube penned an op-ed for Fortune about the controversial Google Anti-Diversity Memo. She defended the Google’s decision that is the parent company of YouTube, to fire engineer James Damore. Wojcicki shared her opinion over this hot topic with Fortune.
Talking to a digital tabloid Susan told that it was her daughter who raised the question on fewer women employed in tech and leadership arena. That question has weighed heavily on Susan throughout her career in the field of technology. According to Susan, she feels lucky to have worked at a company where she has received a lot of support from leaders like Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Eric Schmidt, and Jonathan Rosenberg to mentors like Bill Campbell.
Though Susan has been at the helm of things at YouTube, she has often faced the slights. Her credentials and commitments have time and again been under the scanner at one of the largest companies in the tech world. Not only has she been left out of key events and social gatherings while her leadership is constantly challenged by external leaders giving favors or importance to junior male colleagues working under her. She still feels the pain every time her comments and views are overlooked in favor of what the men in the company have to say.
Upon seeing the memo released by last week by the company, Susan once again revisited the same pain she and other women in the company have felt. The first thought that came to her mind was the women who were working at the various departments at Google. It was all about them facing a very public debate on their work credentials sparked by their own fellow workers. Susan was all about worried on the already implicit biases that haunt the tech and leadership in the global industry. Not to anyone’s surprise, Susan has been quite vocal about her views on this in the past as well.
Susan believes it is this gender gap that persists in the tech industry that discourages women who aspire to study computer science. Susan feels the brunt of this gap as the situation has not improved but has only shifted to a new generation. The new memo has been defended by many in the company as an issue of free speech. Though Google for long has held the image of a company that allows its employees voice, publish and tweet their views, yet an action that subjects women to a hostile environment based on their gender is completely not acceptable.
Indicating to biological groups like Black, Hispanic, or LGBTQ employees, Susan said that what if the word “women” in the memo was replaced with something else. She doesn’t want to compare anyone but points to the fact that discrimination can take different forms and none are good for the society.