'I see things differently': James Damore on his autism and the Google memo
James Damore conforms to the stereotype. He’s happy to admit he fits the mold of an awkward computer nerd and the moment we meet in a Silicon Valley coffee shop, he knocks a display stand of metal flasks that fall clattering to the floor. The commotion draws curious glances at the 6ft 3in software engineer, but Damore is used to strangers identifying him; he’s the guy who was fired by Google this summer after he argued that men are more psychologically suited to working in technology than women.
No one recognises the woman standing beside him. She is Damore’s girlfriend: a feminist and a data scientist who works in tech.
The couple make a surprising pair, as I discovered when we sat down and talked about some of the issues they usually avoid: the gender pay gap, whether boys are more suited to board games than girls, and the 10-page memo that turned Damore, almost overnight, into a pariah in their industry.
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- 17th November 2017