‘Google Is F***ing Woke’: Former Employees Reveal Company’s Dedication To DEI
MOUNTAIN VIEW, UNITED STATES - 2020/02/23: American multinational technology company Google logo seen at Googleplex, the corporate headquarters complex of Google and its parent company Alphabet Inc.
Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

After Google Gemini was revealed to be rewriting history from a woke perspective, with racial history being distorted when it was asked simple prompts, numerous former Google employees spoke of the woke culture at Google and how it has zealously adopted diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices.

In February, Google paused its AI chatbot’s image generation feature after it was accused of racism against white people. The chatbot was accused of refusing to generate images of white people after Frank Fleming, a writer for Daily Wire scripted content, repeatedly asked the chatbot — whose “next-generation model” Gemini 1.5 offered image generation — for such images.

In a long X thread, Fleming began by asking for an image of a pope. Historically, popes have been white men, but the chatbot posted images of a dark-skinned man and woman. Fleming then proceeded to ask for images of medieval knights (garnering four images, two dark-skinned women and two dark-skinned men); jokingly asked for someone eating “a mayo sandwich on white bread;” asked for an image of a Viking; and then asked for images of groups that are traditionally non-white (such as Japanese samurai and Zulu warriors) to see if the chatbot would show diversity by including white people. It did not.

Shaun Maguire, a partner at Google Ventures from 2016 until 2019, told The Free Press,

I was not shocked at all. When the first Google Gemini photos popped up on my X feed, I thought to myself: Here we go again. And: Of course. Because I know Google well. Google Gemini’s failures revealed how broken Google’s culture is in such a visually obvious way to the world. But what happened was not a one-off incident. It was a symptom of a larger cultural phenomenon that has been taking over the company for years.

Maguire recalled taking the job as an investing partner at Google Ventures:  “I was excited about the role, but I was a little wary of Google, which had already been getting a reputation. By the time I joined, the word around Silicon Valley was that Google had already lost its way. It was only when I got there that I realized the full extent of it.”

David Kiferbaum, a Google business manager who worked for Google from 2015 to 2023, said he was told regarding hiring, “We’re really looking for diverse candidates for this role.” He said he interpreted the comment to mean “a non-white, a non-hetero” applicant, adding, “I was like, ‘Whoa, I can’t believe this person is saying this out loud.’”

Maguire said a diversity working group at Google Ventures in 2017 made “unreasonable demands. … The demands included the insistence that senior leaders hire at least two additional female general partners — which is the senior role I was promised I’d get once I reached three years with the company. One of those hires, the group demanded, needed to happen within six months. If leadership refused, about a quarter of the firm, or 20 people out of the 80 employees at Google Ventures, threatened to quit.”

Although Maguire said hiring a female general partner was “a good goal,” he continued, “but they were trying to force a timeline that would ultimately lead to lowering standards. Hiring general partners into a venture firm is a very hard, laborious process, because the positions are so senior and require finding the right fit. The hiring process normally takes anywhere between one to two years.”


He said that Ventures’ CEO, “like all of the senior leadership across Google, proved to be spineless in the face of these employee threats. Within a year, he hired a new female general partner, who was really smart but who wasn’t qualified for the job. Because of her lack of experience, she was never treated on the same level as the other general partners, which I believe was ultimately unfair to her.”

“Meanwhile, over the next two years, I started to notice the dynamics of our team change. Instead of highly experienced founders and seasoned investors, young people from minority backgrounds were coming in with virtually no investment experience whatsoever,” Maguire continued. “In this time, Ventures promoted a 25-year-old black woman to investment partner — the same position I held at the time — who had not yet made a single investment decision in her entire career.”

A former product manager at Google said it was mandatory for him to attend a session on “Psychological Safety for Inclusive Teams.” He said one of his coworkers asked him to update his pronouns and gave him this list: she/her, ey/em, zie/hir, ve/ver, he/him, ze/hir, zie/zir, it/its, they/them, ze/zie, xe/xem, any pronoun, name as my pronoun, and “ask me about my pronoun.”

After he lost out on a promotion, Maguire recalled, “I decided to slowly start looking for other jobs. When firms would ask me why I wanted to leave Google, I would be brutally honest. I’d say, ‘Because Google is f***ing woke. It’s not a meritocracy. And I want to work somewhere with a performance culture.’”

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