I wish to inject only two points into this swirling issue:
1. People having and wielding authoritative power have proven THEMSELVES empirically to have common traits that render THEM incompetent at making any decision that attempts to rectify social ills. These common traits need not be expounded, but let us safely agree that illustrator and author Scott Adams more than sufficiently captured them in the body of his works. In regards to this issue, THEY commonly try to “solve” one social ill by introducing a host of others (e.g.: quota systems, political correctness, Jim Crow, fascism, affirmative action, Apartheid ... ad nausea, ad absurdum). Google management is not the first (nor will it be the last) to blunder down this mine-infested rocky road. It’s a case of smart people making dumb decisions.
2. If Google had any notion of actually addressing this problem, they would have already noticed it and corrected it, internally, years ago. The problem has always been that they do not just hire competent people – they hire people who also “feel” competent…to them. THEY share the same hiring practices as Google. Everyone has this problem…privately: young, hip, urbanites hang out with other young, hip urbanites; god-fearing church folk hang out with their equals; etc. We form tribes. It’s a trust issue hard-wired into humans. One can blame Google for being human, but not misogynistic. If Google, et al, truly wish to create a blind meritocracy, they first need to remove the human element from managerially social decisions.
I wonder how such a technologically advanced group of programmers and scientists should go about that…hmmm?