Re: Out of Date Discussion
You're saying that some people will actually avoid a field of study because a particular employer in that field has a corporate culture that they find unattractive. Do you really believe that school children not only have a concept of corporate culture but that they know the corporate culture of a particular employer in that field and take that as a basis for choosing what they study?
The school kids themselves, no, not directly, but their elder friends, teachers, parents, siblings, everyone around them does, and consciously or subconsciously that permeates down to the school kids and results in them being interested in and choosing something else. It's hard enough as it is to persuade girls and indeed many boys that taking a science, maths and technology route through education is a worthwhile thing. But reactions like this from some of one prominent company's staff is a real deterrent.
Google are particularly notable because it's the one of the very few tech companies that everyone from the age of 3 upwards has heard about, sees in the news, etc. Right now there's at least 50% of the learning population who are getting a message that working with Google is not going to be pleasant. That's a massive fraction of the future working population who are making choices right now who somehow have to be persuaded that the tech industry, and maybe even Google, is worth considering.
Let's talk about the money. The personal consequences for today's workers at Google is low right now, but they're all heavily invested in the long term prosperity of the company. A toxic attitude today can very easily kill / hamstring the company in the future. From where then are their pensions and healthcare going to be paid? Google themselves are already deeply unpopular in large parts of the world (e.g. The advertising boycott that started in Europe). These events are not going help matters.
It seems to me that there's some people within Google who consider themselves and their futures to be invincibly gilt edged no matter what they say and do, but that is a serious delusion. Everyone is always one bout of terrible publicity away from corporate extinction, even Google. Look at how Uber is imploding up its own arsehole.