Claire Stapleton, one of the organizers of last year’s global Google walkout in protest of the media giant’s sexual harassment policies, says she resigned from the tech giant after facing retaliation.
Stapleton explained her reasons for quitting in a letter to her colleagues that was published Friday on Medium.
“These past few months have been unbearably stressful and confusing,” the post said. “But they’ve been eye-opening, too: the more I spoke up about what I was experiencing, the more I heard, and the more I understood how universal these issues are. That’s why I find it so depressing that leadership has chosen to just bluntly refute my story. They have a different version of what happened; that’s how this works.”
Stapleton was a marketing manager at YouTube, which is owned by Google. She spent 12 years with the company and alleged that she and others were “pushed out or punished for speaking up.”
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“When they say ‘Claire’s experience didn’t happen,’ they’re talking to everyone who thought my story sounded familiar, anyone who’s been Through It in some form: pushed out or punished for speaking up, gaslit, discriminated against, isolated, harassed. People are telling each other their stories. Refusing to acknowledge our humanity and engage with the deeper issues being raised—well, that’s not very Googley,” she wrote.
Stapleton was one of seven employees who organized a global protest called the Google Walkout for Real Change in November 2018.
Images posted on social media showed workers carrying signs that demanded changes in how the company handles sexual harassment complaints in the wake of a New York Times article, that said two senior executives accused of misconduct were seemingly rewarded with exit packages worth millions of dollars, while a third remained in a highly compensated job.
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