Google employees are staging global walkouts over the firm's treatment of women
04 November, 2018, 23:18 | Author: Kevin Carter
Hundreds of Google employees across the globe walked off the job Thursday to protest the tech giant's handling of sexual harassment cases involving executives.
The protest, which organiser Claire Stapleton told journalist Katie Couric was a "grassroots, groundswell movement", took place after staff dismay at a New York Times report which detailed allegations of sexual misconduct levelled at senior executives and apparent protection from Google.
In India, 150 employees from Google's Hyderabad, Gurugram and Mumbai offices participated in the walkout.
The Walkout for Real Change protest comes a week after it emerged that Google gave a $90m (£70m) severance package to Andy Rubin, the creator of the Android mobile phone software, but concealed details of a sexual misconduct allegation that triggered his departure. The report said Rubin received a $90 million severance package in 2014 even after Google concluded the sexual misconduct allegations against him were credible.
In a conference in New York, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that there are positive aspects of letting the company's employees protest but that he was still in charge and won't be constantly swayed by staff uprisings. We are taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action'.
But it was revealed by the Times that Google executives asked for Rubin's resignation after an employee accused Rubin of sexual misconduct, specifically that he coerced the female employee to perform oral sex.
"These incidents are from a few years ago and we've evolved as a company", Pichai said Thursday at The New York Times' DealBook conference.
The protestors demanded that the company report sexual harassment statistics publicly and that it ends private arbitration of such cases. Employees across Google's offices in London were more muted, mostly staging their protest indoors and briefly exiting the building in the pouring rain.
The Dublin-based employee also shared an article with Euronews, pointing us to an article in THE CUT, written by the organisers of the walkouts, for more background context. These included Richard DeVaul, a director at the Google-affiliated lab that created far-flung projects such as self-driving cars and internet-beaming balloons. They added that Google had fired 48 people without pay for sexual misconduct over the past two years.
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