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Wednesday
Aug092017

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki responds to controversial Google memo

Google(NEW YORK) -- Days after Google fired the employee who wrote a controversial internal memo criticizing the company's efforts to promote diversity, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki responded to the incident in an op-ed for Fortune magazine.

"Yesterday, after reading the new, my daughter asked me a question. 'Mom, is itt rue that there are biological reasons why there are fewer women in tech and leadership?'" Wojcicki wrote. "That quest, whether it's been asked outright, whispered quietly, or simply lingered in the back of someone's mind, has weighed heavily on me throughout my career in technology."

"Though I've been lucky to work at a company where I've received a lot of support...my experience in the tech industry has shown me just how pervasive that question is," she added.

Wojcicki said that when she saw the memo last week, "I once again felt that pain, and empathized with the pain it must have caused others."  She said it forced her to think about women employed by Google, women at other companies in the tech field, and the gender gap in technology.

"Someone of those responding to the memo are trying to defend its authorship as an issue of free speech," Wojcicki said. Despite Google's support for freedom of expression, however, "that does not mean companies cannot take action when women are subjected to comments that perpetuate negative stereotypes about them based on their gender."

YouTube is owned by Google's parent company, Alphabet and Wojcicki's sister was married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

"What if we replaced the word 'women' in the memo with another group?" Wojcicki asks, to note "that the language of discrimination can take many different forms and none are acceptable or productive."

The YouTube CEO concludes her piece with her response to her daughter's initial question. "No, it's not true," she writes.

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