How Google Has Just Harmed Its Women Employees

Last week we noted here how the move to “ban the box” of criminal convictions on employment application forms actually increased discrimination against blacks, and with its decision to fire the author of the infamous “diversity memo,” Google has just done its women employees a huge disservice, likely leading to more discrimination against women.

David Bernstein of the Scalia Law School at George Mason University offers this shrewd observation:

How Google’s decision may harm its female employees: there is a coterie of female employees who want Google to fire not just the engineer, but anyone who expressed agreement with him, and who want to police political correctness among Google employees more generally. Now let’s say you are a man picking a team to go to a three week long tech conference/expo in Hong Kong. Are you more or less likely to want to put women on your team, knowing that if you or someone you like inadvertently says something “offensive” regarding gender, a woman on your team may call for termination?

And guess what? There’s some social science evidence for this in the journal Politics, Groups, and Identities:

The unintended effects of political party affirmative action policies on female candidates’ nomination chances

Angela L. Bos, College of Wooster


Some state political party organizations that hold nominating conventions implement affirmative action (AA) policies to encourage the nomination of women and minority candidates. This paper assesses whether these policies help or hinder female candidates seeking statewide office. On the one hand, these policies could benefit female candidates since they demonstrate an organization’s commitment to diversity. On the other hand, diversity and AA policies may have negative, unintended consequences for female candidates such as promoting gender stereotype activation or creating a stigma of incompetence for female candidates. I examine whether and how delegates’ awareness of these policies shapes candidate evaluations, gender stereotypes, and nominee choice. I test this by analyzing unique survey data from Democratic state nominating convention delegates who evaluate candidates in statewide nominations in four states. The results suggest that while evaluations of the female candidate are not downgraded, focus on AA leads Democratic delegates to inflate their views of her male opponent. Furthermore, when delegates perceive that their party focuses on AA, they are less likely to choose the female candidate, in part because this perceived focus highlights that female candidates might lack masculine strengths. The resulting implications for female candidates and political party organizations are discussed.

Nice going liberals. Reminds of the old cliché, “Why is it we only hurt the ones we love?” Maybe the answer will come up in a Google search.

Notice: All comments are subject to moderation. Our comments are intended to be a forum for civil discourse bearing on the subject under discussion. Commenters who stray beyond the bounds of civility or employ what we deem gratuitous vulgarity in a comment — including, but not limited to, “s***,” “f***,” “a*******,” or one of their many variants — will be banned without further notice in the sole discretion of the site moderator.