- 01 Nov 18
Employees in Dublin's Google headquarters have joined workers worldwide to protest against the company's practices in cases of sexual harassment.
Google staff around the world took part in a "Walk Out For Real Change" today with a Twitter feed #googlewalkout documenting the protests.
Employees who wished to take part were instructed to leave the following note on their desks, reading "I’m not at my desk because I’m walking out with other Googlers and contractors to protest sexual harassment, misconduct, lack of transparency, and a workplace culture that’s not working for everyone."
A number of changes are being requested as part of the protest to the way sexual harassment cases are currently handled within the company. These include a publicly disclosed sexual harassment transparency report as well as a clear, uniform, globally inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously.
Another issue at the top of the agenda is an end to forced arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination for all employees. Currently, Google operates a policy whereby cases of sexual harassment are dealt with internally rather than through other methods, such as the courts.
Opponents of this system claim that this is used to silence victims who are unable to appeal decisions made or take any further actions once the case has been settled.
A number of cases in America have led to criticism about how Google deals with reports of harassment. For example, recently The New York Times reported that one high profile executive received a $90m payout upon leaving the company, despite what Google cited as a credible allegation of sexual misconduct made against him.
In an all-staff email Google chief executive, Sundar Pichai told staff, "I understand the anger and disappointment that many of you feel. I feel it as well, and I am fully committed to making progress on an issue that has persisted for far too long in our society… and, yes, here at Google, too."
This morning employees around the world began leaving Google offices in a show of solidarity. The first employees to walk out were in Google's Singapore offices, with staff in offices worldwide including Dublin, London, Berlin following suit.
— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) November 1, 2018