Last August, Google senior software engineer James Damore was fired after he released a memo revealing the tech giant to be an “ideological echo chamber.” He is now suing the company for gender, racial, and viewpoint discrimination. A new survey released Friday suggests that not only do employees at tech companies in Silicon Valley admit their workplaces are “liberal” or “very liberal,” but they admit to self-censorship on the job — and conservatives feel less comfortable expressing their views on the job after Damore’s firing.
“The consensus across the political spectrum that there is a real ‘fire’ when it comes to this this issue in tech was surprising,” Garrett Johnson, co-founder of the Lincoln Network, the tech-politics company that commissioned the survey, told PJ Media. He remarked on “the liberal bias in tech companies and efforts to silence, to the extent that even 30 percent of very liberal people are hesitant to engage.”
The Lincoln Network survey, taken last December, examined Silicon Valley employees at Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Dropbox, Facebook, Google, Instacart, Intel, McAfee, Microsoft, PayPal, and Salesforce. Workers from across the ideological spectrum agreed that their offices were “liberal” or “very liberal,” and many said they could not “be themselves” at work.
When asked “how would you characterize the ideological and cultural norms in your workplace?” 67 percent of Silicon Valley tech employees went for “liberal” or “very liberal.”
More than three-quarters of “very conservative” employees (76 percent) said their workplaces were left of center, as did most “conservative” employees (71 percent). Those who identified as “libertarian” (69 percent) and “moderate” (67 percent) agreed. Even Silicon Valley employees who called themselves “liberal” (75 percent) and “very liberal” (51 percent) admitted their workplace was dominated by a left-wing atmosphere.
One liberal worker lamented that “there are people who are looking for a reason to be offended, and any sort of disagreement would make them wonder if I’m a secret Trump supporter. The idea of ‘I agree with you 90%’ is not enough.” A moderate/libertarian recalled, “In numerous conversations, no one ever took the Republican side. The conversation was always around why Hillary was right.”
A conservative put it bluntly: “It’s a postmodern secularist Silicon Valley viewpoint. Highly liberal.” A moderate agreed, saying, “My workplace is liberal. And atheist/agnostic.”e
When asked if they could “truly bring their whole selves to work,” most right-leaning Silicon Valley employees emphatically said they were “hesitant” to be themselves at the office. A whopping 89 percent of very right-leaning workers and 74 percent of conservative employees agreed with the statement, “I am hesitant of being myself at work.” More than two-thirds (69 percent) of libertarians also agreed, as did half of moderates (50 percent).
“Some of my colleagues will openly mock conservatives, assuming that everyone within earshot is liberal. Multiple times I’ve had to sit through cruel mockery of my home state while others nodded and laughed along,” one conservative explained. Another recalled, “After the election, the head of a department made multiple insinuations we should fire employees who voted for Trump.”
Not even all Silicon Valley liberals found this atmosphere welcoming. More than a third of “liberal” employees (36 percent) said they hesitate to be themselves, and 30 percent of “very liberal” workers agreed.
“The Senior VP of HR, in a company-wide meeting, described the fact that labor laws prohibit racial discrimination against white employees as ‘idiocy,'” one liberal employee recalled. Another said, “I witnessed repeated calls from managers and non-managers alike for people to be fired for the political views they expressed.”
Most strong conservatives (71 percent), conservatives (64 percent), and libertarians (66 percent) said the situation involving Damore’s “diversity memo” made them less comfortable sharing their “ideological viewpoints with colleagues.” Even large minorities of moderates (46 percent) and liberals (30 percent) said the same.
One conservative described the incident as “a huge wake-up call.” He added, “Silicon Valley has been for my career left-liberal, but now it makes me wonder if we’ve moved from live-and-let-live to an environment where if you don’t go along with the prevailing politics you’re out of a livelihood.”
Among very liberal employees, however, 26 percent said the Damore situation actually made them “more comfortable” sharing their ideas, while 14 percent also said they felt “less comfortable” about it.
One liberal put it this way: “Hell, Google ain’t that liberal of a place, and even it recognized this guy for being a douchebag. Were I his line manager or higher in his reporting chain, you bet your a** I would have fired him.”
About a third of right-leaning Silicon Valley workers said the ideology of their workplace gets in the way of their ability to do their jobs. Sizable minorities of very conservative (47 percent), conservative (34 percent), and libertarian (30 percent) workers agreed with the statement, “I feel my ideological views being at odds with my workplace norms affects my ability to do my best work.”
One conservative recalled calling in sick after Election Day “in order to avoid all conversations about the election.” Another explained that “there is oversized internal outrage and support if a leftist agenda item is ‘wronged’ by our product, but zero to very little is done about the mistakes and biases we’re responsible for on more conservative issues.”
A libertarian put it point-blank: “There is a concerted purge of conservative employees at Apple.” Another libertarian recalled, “A friend at a tech company was nearly terminated when his manager found out he was a Republican delegate. His manager lied to VPs about his performance to try to get him fired while telling him that he was performing well.”
Some moderates (16 percent) and extreme liberals (12 percent) agreed that ideological differences got in the way of work, while only 2 percent of those just identifying as “liberal” said so.
A surprising number of Silicon Valley employees said they know someone who either did not pursue a tech career or who left a tech career due to perceived viewpoint conflicts. While extreme conservatives (59 percent) were most likely to know someone who rejected tech for ideological reasons, quite a few conservatives (36 percent) and libertarians (37 percent) agreed. About a fifth of liberal (21 percent) and very liberal (19 percent) employees reported the same.
“I have lost multiple talented colleagues who resigned rather than continue in the face of an increasingly extreme, narrow-minded, and regressive environment here at Google,” one Silicon Valley libertarian said. “It’s terrifying here. A real horror show. Every day could be my last.”
Another libertarian said, “I refused to consider working for Google after their reaction to the Damore memo. I no longer consider some friends of mine who work in the industry people I can trust, after hearing them publicly discuss their approval of James Damore’s firing (as well as other systematic gender and ethnic issues).”
A third libertarian lamented that the “public-facing wing” of the company proves “shrill and vocal in their radical progressivism.” Due to this, the Silicon Valley employee expressed a fear that the company “will alienate its narrow user base because of its uncritical embrace of gender/identity politics.”
Many conservatives might not be surprised at these findings of liberal bias at companies like Google, Apple, and Amazon. After all, last August Apple announced a partnership with the Left-wing smear factory and racket the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a group known for equating conservative Christians — and a few reformist Muslims — with the Ku Klux Klan, labeling them “hate groups.” Amazon excluded a Christian ministry from its nonprofit program on similarly spurious grounds, and now faces a lawsuit.
Furthermore, the Damore suit revealed a supercharged embrace of LGBT issues at Google. The Silicon Valley giant caters to sexual identities like furries and otherkin, and even hosted a seminar from a “plural being” who sexually identifies as both “a yellow-scaled wingless dragonkin” and “an expansive ornate building.”
Such liberal positions in Silicon Valley may not be surprising, but this survey helped to make conservative complaints more concrete, and it also demonstrated that liberals are also uncomfortable with the situation.
“I assumed right-leaning participants would make this point and was surprised by the comments offered by left-leaning people who were willing to call this out,” Johnson, co-founder of the Lincoln Network, told PJ Media. “It provides initial data to prove that most people are willing to have an honest conversation about this fire, if given the chance and not silenced by fear of the screaming mobs on the left or right ends of the spectrum.”
He blamed leaders at tech companies for “enabling greater tribalization in our democracy.”
Silicon Valley needs to seriously reconsider its commitment to a Leftist agenda, not just for the sake of conservatives, but even for the liberals who work there.