Gender and Free Speech at Google (A) case Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Gender and Free Speech at Google (A) Case Solution


Google was founded in the year 1998 and was a product and service-oriented platform initially. It encored a range of sound products from the Google Play store to Google AdSense providing feasibility of operations day by day. Its headquarters are located in California and worked like a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. and had employed around 70, 000 people.

Google has a diverse culture reminding employees daily of spiritual and work-related tasks via e-mail. A paramount feature of the firm is encored in the session of unconsciously biased training which is aimed at removing the stereotypes for both gender and racial discriminations. Despite these efforts, as a nature of work area, gender discrimination is noted to some extent in Google. Google had allegations as well for discrimination in payment under the U.S.

Department of Labor investigation. Further, according to the fired employee Damore, these sessions provoke him to write the debatable memo. As per the case is concerned, Damore had used unethical and inappropriate words regarding the female counterpart. The words were violating and marginalizing women but scientifically, they were appropriate. Sundar Pichai had assured that the freedom of speech is fully supported but to an extent, it does not mean to defame anyone.

Gender discrimination is not only the case in Google but other higher professional as well as educational institutes. Many individuals deny women entry into a specific area of study or profession claiming that women do not fit here or women are not made for this profession or study. These need to be addressed on a larger scale particularly included in law so as to address this specific problem being faced on a large scale by the world.

Problem Statement

A 28 years old software engineer employed in the company since 2013 was fired on an immediate basis from the firm for mailing an unethical internal memo to the employees which provoked gender discrimination. The memo raised topics like women are emotionally, temperamentally, and biologically less suited to fit the positions they are in. The new vice president of Google, Danielle Brown has now to advise the CEO related to the current fallout situation.

Google’s response-legitimate or not

Google had taken an affirmative decision in firing the employee over gender-related issues. The memo was partially correct regarding the right of the employee to communicate his thoughts and ideas with his fellow colleagues. But to a great extent, the idea should not be against the code of conduct of the firm. Google is attained towards diversity options rather than insecurities for the female gender. For this purpose, the firm has been carrying out sessions for incorporating diversity into the corporate culture.

Legal, ethical and economic points of view

The response of Google was legitimate due to certain reasons. Firstly, it is protected by labor law as a firm can fire an employee based on unethical communication with colleagues to improve their work conditions. Secondly, California law refrains employers to fire the workforce based on the political course of action. Damore’s actions were protected speech but there was nothing Google could not take action about as it was a clear distinction for the females.

Thirdly, Damore protested in portions of his memo about firm strategies that he trusts disrupt employment discernment laws. Those strategies include provision programs inadequate by race or gender and advertising and hiring notching policies that reflect race and gender. It is illegal for a boss to punish an employee for stimulating conduct that the employee sensibly believed to be biased, even when a law court later regulates the bearing was not forbidden by the discrimination laws.

Lastly, as pointed out by the new vice president of Google, Danielle Brown, an employee contains no right to defame or speak about anti-discriminatory practices. Economically, and ethically as well the decision was right as it was an act of unethical concern that a person was downgraded based on gender. Economically, females have a major contribution to the economy, however, the ratio is less but they play their parts to the full.

So, in my decision, Google was correct in firing an employee over a controversial memo being sent. The decision was supported by law as well and had full rights to exclude anyone who goes against the code of conduct of the firm..............

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