When 24-year-old Google software engineer Amelia Brunner read the now viral anti-diversity memo by James Damore, she was “painfully unsurprised.”
Titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” the document asserts that there are “differences in distributions of traits between men and women,” which “may in part explain why we don’t have 50 percent representation of women in tech and leadership.”
Many people in the industry “don’t themselves see the ways that unconscious bias affects minorities in the workplace,” Brunner, who has been at the company for two years, tells CNBC Make It. “They don’t think it happens and then they interpret the concerns raised by affected parties as manipulative cries for attention.”
On her team at Google, Brunner says that none of her direct bosses are women and there has been little said among her coworkers concerning the memo. The reason: They aren’t phased by it, she says. “It sucks because I hate to say that it’s standard,” she says, “but it is standard.”
Although Brunner admits that she was not shocked by the contents of the memo, one thing did catch her by surprise: the public outcry.
“Despite the fact that women in tech speak out loudly and often on these topics,” says Brunner, “people both in and outside of the industry still don’t listen, or still write these concerns off as attention-seeking or melodramatic.”
“I hope it provides a concrete example of the type of attitudes that women in tech have to interact with on a daily basis to legitimize what we have been saying for years,” she says.