Yesterday Google employees in 12 cities around the world walked out in massive numbers to protest a toxic work environment. To try to improve this they demanded 6 things. Which were:
- A commitment to end pay and opportunity inequality
- A publicly disclosed sexual harassment transparency report
- A clear, uniform, globally inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously
- The elevation of the chief diversity officer to answer directly to the CEO, and make recommendations directly to the board of directors
- The appointment of an employee representative to the board
- An end to forced arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination for all current and future employees
The protests were organised in wake of a New York Times article that alleged that Google paid former executive Andy Rubin 90 million USD, or about 69 million GBP, when he was fired over what Google called a creditable accusation of sexual harassment.
Rubin is one of three Google executives that have been treated well by the company after being accused of sexual assault.
The CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, gave his support for the protests in an email, but faced criticism from workers who didn’t feel like he was being genuine, but trying to stave off negative press.
Former employees like Jennifer Blakely have spoken out about their experience with sexual misconduct and a double standard at Google. Blakely spoke about the fallout of her affair with David C. Drummond, who at the time was her boss in the legal department.
When Drummond informed Google about their relationship, both Blakely and Drummond were called into HR and told that one of them would have to leave the department.
It was made clear that Drummond was not going to be made to leave and Blakely was transferred to the sales department. She left the company a year later.