您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 科技 >> 正文

表达“性别成见”,谷歌工程师被开除

更新时间:2017-8-10 10:56:41 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Contentious Memo Strikes Nerve Inside Google and Out
表达“性别成见”,谷歌工程师被开除

SAN FRANCISCO — After leaving Harvard’s doctorate program in systems biology to join Google as a software engineer in 2013, James Damore joked on his Facebook page that he knew he had made the right move as he enjoyed a morning smoothie with oats. It was the type of workplace perk that is standard for Google employees.

旧金山——哈佛大学(Harvard)的系统生物学博士生詹姆斯·达莫尔(James Damore)于2013年离开校园,以软件工程师的身份加入谷歌(Google)后,曾在Facebook上开玩笑说,这一步算走对了,因为他喜欢早上来一份燕麦奶昔。这类东西算是谷歌员工的工作福利标配。

That initial assessment of Google seemed far removed from the contentious memo written by the 28-year-old Damore last week that has enraged advocates of greater diversity in the technology industry. The memo has also served as a rallying cry for conservatives and the alt-right who view Google — and Silicon Valley — as a bastion of groupthink where people with different opinions are shamed into silence.

现年28岁的达莫尔对谷歌的最初评价,与他上周撰写的一份备忘录相去甚远。这份备忘录颇具争议,触怒了提倡增进科技行业员工多样性的人士。该备忘录还成了保守派和极右翼人士的集结令,在他们看来,谷歌乃至硅谷是一个群体思维堡垒,身处其中的持不同意见者因为感到羞耻而陷入沉默。

His 10-page memo, titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” argued that “personality differences” between men and women — like a woman’s having a lower tolerance for stress — help explain why there were fewer women in engineering and leadership roles at the company. He said efforts by the company to reach equal representation of women in technology and leadership were “unfair, divisive, and bad for business.”

达莫尔在长达10页、题为《谷歌的意识形态回音室》的备忘录中表示,男女之间的“个性差异”——比如女性对压力的容忍度较低——有助于解释该公司的工程技术和领导人员当中女性较少的现象。他说,谷歌旨在让女性在技术及管理人员中的占比赶上男性的努力,是“不公平的,容易引发分歧,而且不利于生意”。

The memo was originally posted on an internal mailing list and was shared widely inside the company and throughout Silicon Valley. It struck a nerve and was harshly criticized inside a company and an entire industry struggling to explain why women are underrepresented in key engineering ranks and are often underpaid when compared with their male peers.

备忘录一开始发在一个内部讨论区中,随后在该公司内部和硅谷广为流传。谷歌及其隶属的整个行业一向难于解释为什么女性在关键工程技术人员中的比例偏低,而且与男性同行相比,她们的薪酬常常较少。达莫尔的备忘录在这样一家公司和这样一个行业里触动了人们的神经,招致了严厉的批评。

Google fired Damore on Monday and said that he had violated the company’s rules by “advancing harmful gender stereotypes.”

谷歌于周一解雇了达莫尔,说他违反公司的规则,“宣扬有害的性别成见”。

In a short email exchange Monday after his firing, Damore, who was a senior software engineer in Google’s search division, said he had not expected this type of reaction when he shared his missive last week.

达莫尔曾是谷歌研究部门的高级软件工程师,周一被解雇后,他在一封短短的电子邮件中表示,自己上周分享备忘录的时候,没想到会引发这种反应。

“As far as I know, I have a legal right to express my concerns about the terms and conditions of my working environment and to bring up potentially illegal behavior, which is what my document does,” he said. Damore said he would probably take legal action against the company.

“据我所知,表达我对自身工作环境中的一些条款和情况的疑虑,并把一些有可能非法的行为摆到台面上,是我的合法权利,我的备忘录就是用来做这个的,”他说。达莫尔说他可能会对谷歌采取法律行动。

Like many new hires at Google, Damore boasted an impressive academic background. A competitive player of chess and computer strategy video games, he studied molecular and cellular biology at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, according to an online résumé. He conducted research in computational biology at Harvard, Princeton and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before joining a Ph.D. program at Harvard. He completed a master’s degree but dropped out before receiving his doctorate.

像谷歌的很多新雇员一样,达莫尔有着令人赞叹的学术背景。一份线上简历显示,身为颇具实力的国际象棋和策略类电子游戏玩家的他,曾在伊利诺伊大学香槟分校(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)研读分子与细胞生物学。到哈佛读博前,他在哈佛、普林斯顿(Princeton)和麻省理工(Massachusetts Institute of Technology)做过计算生物学方面的研究。他获得了硕士学位,但在拿到博士学位前辍了学。

In a footnote for his memo, Damore said he considered himself a “classic liberal,” an ideology associated with advocacy of free market economics and libertarianism.

达莫尔在备忘录的一个脚注中表示,他认为自己是一个“古典自由派”——秉持的是与自由市场经济学及自由放任主义相关的理念。

Damore’s memo was rebuked by a number of his fellow employees. Few Google employees came out publicly in defense of him but some surreptitiously showed their support by leaking screenshots from internal Google posts of employees saying they planned to create blacklists of people who did not support the company’s diversity efforts. The screenshots appeared on Breitbart News, which has championed Damore’s memo.

达莫尔的备忘录让他受到了许多同事的抨击。甚少有谷歌雇员公开站出来为他辩护,但有人通过分享一些谷歌员工在内部讨论区所发帖子的截图,隐晦地表达对他的支持。那些员工在帖子里说,他们打算建立黑名单,把不支持谷歌提高员工多样性之举的人统统拉进去。相关截图出现在了布莱巴特新闻(Breitbart News)上,该网站对达莫尔的备忘录持支持态度。

“Despite what the public response seems to have been, I’ve gotten many personal messages from fellow Googlers expressing their gratitude for bringing up those very important issues which they agree with but would never have the courage to say or defend because of our shaming culture and the possibility of getting fired,” Damore wrote in an addendum to his original memo. “This needs to change.”

“不管公开回应看似如何,很多谷歌人都给我发来了私人讯息,感谢我提出那些非常重要的议题,他们持有同样的观点,但碍于我们的羞耻文化以及被解雇的可能性,他们永远都不会有勇气说出来或为之辩护。”达莫尔在原始备忘录的一篇附文中写道。“这种情况需要改变。”

Others outside the company came to Damore’s defense. Eric Weinstein, a managing director at Thiel Capital, an investment firm run by Peter Thiel, a billionaire and supporter of President Donald Trump, said Google was sending the wrong message to women.

该公司外部的一些人对达莫尔表示了支持。泰尔资本(Thiel Capital)董事总经理艾瑞克·韦恩斯坦(Eric Weinstein)说,谷歌正向女性传递错误的讯息。泰尔资本是由唐纳德·特朗普总统的支持者、亿万富翁彼得·泰尔(Peter Thiel)运营的一家投资公司。

Separately, a group started a crowdfunding page to raise money on Damore’s behalf. And Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, offered him a job.

此外,一个团体弄了一个为达莫尔筹款的众筹页面。维基解密(WikiLeaks)创始人朱利安·阿桑奇(Julian Assange)还向他发出了工作邀约。

Women only account for 31 percent of Google’s workforce and 20 percent of its technical staff, according to the company’s latest diversity reports. But the company does have a rich history of fostering top technology talent like Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer; Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s former chief executive; and Susan Wojcicki, who runs YouTube. Megan Smith, a former vice president at Google who recently served as the chief technology officer for the United States under President Barack Obama, said the views promoted by Damore were common in Silicon Valley.

谷歌最近发布的员工多样性报告显示,女性在该公司全体员工中的占比仅为31%,在技术人员中的占比仅为20%。但谷歌的确培养出了很多顶尖的科技人才,比如Facebook首席运营官谢莉尔·桑德伯格(Sheryl Sandberg),雅虎(Yahoo)前首席执行官玛丽莎‧梅耶尔(Marissa Mayer),以及执掌YouTube的苏珊·沃西基(Susan Wojcicki)。曾任Google副总裁、不久前还给贝拉克·奥巴马(Barack Obama)总统当过白宫首席技术官的梅甘·史密斯(Megan Smith)说,在硅谷,达莫尔宣扬的观点并非多么不同寻常。

“It’s insidious and it’s all around the culture,” Smith said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

“它很隐蔽,充斥在文化之中,”史密斯接受彭博电视(Bloomberg Television)采访时说。

The flap over Damore’s criticism of Google’s diversity efforts comes as the company has tangled with the Labor Department over its pay practices. The department has not charged Google with any wrongdoing, but a department official said there was evidence that the company systematically paid women less than men. Google denies this is the case.

在达莫尔批评谷歌提高员工多样化的努力,并引发不安之际,该公司正就自己的薪酬安排与美国劳工部(Labor Department)进行繁琐沟通。劳工部尚未指控谷歌有任何违法行为,但部里的一名官员说,有证据显示,该公司系统性地向女性支付少于男性的薪酬。谷歌对此予以否认。

Wesley Chan, a venture capitalist at Felicis Ventures and an early Google employee who left the company in 2014, said Google had no choice but to fire Damore.

目前供职于法利思创投(Felicis Ventures)的风险投资人卫斯理·陈(Wesley Chan)曾是谷歌的早期雇员,于2014年离职,他说谷歌除了解雇达莫尔别无选择。

“It’s not about free discourse,” said Chan. “It’s about advancing a fringe viewpoint which is hurtful to a large population of the company.”

“这无关乎自由的言说,”卫斯理·陈说,“而是关乎宣扬一种会让该公司很多人受到伤害的偏激观点。”

The legal argument for Damore’s dismissal is more complicated. On one hand, there may be a way to argue that the memo and its recommendations — such as “stop alienating conservatives” — constitute a “concerted activity” to aid and protect his fellow workers, which may be protected under federal labor law. However, Google can argue that his memo created a hostile workplace for women.

论证达莫尔遭解雇的法律依据则是更为复杂的工作。一方面或许可以宣称,达莫尔的备忘录以及里面的建议——比如“停止疏远保守派”——构成旨在帮助和保护其同事的一致行动(concerted activity),也许是受联邦劳工法保护的。而谷歌可以指出,他的备忘录制造了一种对女性不友好的工作氛围。

“There’s no free speech in the private sector workplace,” said Katherine Stone, a labor and employment law professor at University of California, Los Angeles. “Clearly, the company was concerned that he was making the environment difficult for people to do their jobs.”

“在私营部门的工作场合没有言论自由一说,”加州大学洛杉矶分校(University of California, Los Angeles)劳工及就业法教授凯瑟琳·斯通(Katherine Stone)说。“显然,该公司担心的是他正在制造让人们难以安心工作的氛围。”

“全文请访问纽约时报中文网,本文发表于纽约时报中文网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅纽约时报中文网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表