Abandoning the Echo Chamber: Takeaways From Google’s Gender Identity Memo

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Expect Diversity, gender debate, Google, Google memo, gender bias, gender identity, Hidden Brain
Gender Debate

Navigating gender identity at events will soon be hitting your to-do list, if it hasn’t already.

In early August, Google Engineer James Damore released an internal memo titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” that has since gone viral. If you’re not up-to-speed on the Google debacle, the memo argued that biological differences between men and women may explain why there isn’t equal representation of women in leadership at Google. Not only did the incident result in the firing of James Damore, but it also sparked a lot of internal debates about gender at offices nationwide.

Whether or not you agree with Damore, the backlash that Google received as a result makes this a topic worth exploring, especially if the goal of planning diverse and welcoming events for all is a top priority for 2018.

Now that the storm has settled a bit, major news outlets are taking their turn at explaining the gender argument. NPR’s Hidden Brain podcast did this well with “The Edge of Gender” episode released this past October The episode delves into all the elements that contribute to gender bias. The podcast’s different nature-versus-nurture explanations leaves its audience wondering exactly how much society plays a part in defining gender roles. It could even leave meeting planners second-guessing different gender-specific colors, decorations and activities they make available at events. After all, who knew pink could be so controversial?

Listen to the podcast to formulate your own opinion about the debate rather than echoing the talking points, and for sparking ideas on carving out a planning approach that welcomes all.

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