Last month, a scathing report published by The New York Times said that Google had handed out Andy Rubin a severance package amounting to $90 million, even after an internal investigation found allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against the Android creator by another Google employee, credible beyond doubt. The report further mentioned that Google deliberately chose to sweep the whole matter under the rug, fearing that the repercussions would adversely affect the company’s public image.
In response, Google employees around the globe staged a walkout en masse last week, to protest sexual harassment at workplaces. It seems that the event was a success, at least as far as the turnout is concerned. According to a report by 9to5Google, more than 20,000 Google employees and contractors participated in the event, called ‘Google Walkout for Real Change’.
“Protest organizers say they were disgusted by the details of the recent article from The New York Times which provided the latest example of a culture of complicity, dismissiveness, and support for perpetrators in the face of sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse of power. They framed the problem as part of a longstanding pattern in a toxic work culture further amplified by systemic racism,” the report quoted the event’s organizers as saying.
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The disgruntled employees also put forth a list of demands to the company’s management. It includes an end to forced arbitration in sexual harassment cases, commitment to end pay/opportunity inequality, a clear process for reporting sexual misconduct, elevation of the chief diversity officer to answer directly to the CEO, and the appointment of an employee representative to the board. It seems their efforts have succeeded.
As per report, Google executives recently informed the event’s organizers that CEO Sundar Pichai will meet with the company’s leadership “to review a plan that would address the demands”.