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As Google Struggles With Diversity, Tech Industry at Large Comes Under Scrutiny

The diversity memo, which resulted in a Google employee getting fired, has the entire tech industry under the microscope.

As Google takes its turn in the spotlight, combatting stories about its lack of diversity, nearly all of Silicon Valley is under intense scrutiny over the controversial issue.

After one (now former) Google employee published a 10-page memo that claimed men are biologically superior to women at computer programming, the entire tech industry is scrambling to explain its lack of diversity.

Apple, for example, has struggled with diversity for years. In June, the Washington Examiner rattled off these stats:

Today, only two members of Apple’s board of directors are women. Per its own reporting, a staggering 68 percent of its workforce was male in 2016, with women making up less than one in every three employees. Seventy-two percent of the company’s leaders are male, and 77 percent of Apple’s tech employees are men.

Mic News noted that at Apple’s June conference, women spoke for only a fraction of the time as men:

We calculated approximate speaking time for men versus women during Apple’s Worldwide Developers’ Conference keynote on Monday, and gender representation was worse than the last two years. Men spoke for approximately 117 minutes. Women spoke for approximately 9 minutes. Of those 9 minutes, a few were relegated to a woman demoing a product backstage, with another male speaker in the foreground.

Women have also complained about a “toxic work environment” and “sexist” behavior at Apple in the past.

While Google and Apple are far from the only tech companies to receive complaints of this nature (Uber, for one, has been in the news lately), they are two giants of the industry who claim to be leading the fight for diverse work environments. But the truth is a bit murkier than they might admit.