Google employees staged walkouts at offices around the globe today to protest the company’s handling of sexual harassment claims.
Social media is filled with the spectacle of thousands of Google employees standing outside the company’s offices in Dublin, London, Zurich and Singapore. The protestors are demanding changes in how the company handles sexual harassment complaints in the wake of a New York Times article revealing that two senior executives who were accused of misconduct were seemingly rewarded with exit packages worth millions of dollars while a third remained in a highly compensated job.
Google employees today called for an end to forced arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination and a clear, uniform process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously. They demanded Google commit to end pay inequity, a long festering issue at the company that led to a gender bias suit. The protestors also called for publication of a sexual harassment transparency report.
In an effort to elevate the issue, protestors said Google’s chief diversity officer should to report directly to Google CEO Sundar Pichai and make recommendations to the board of directors.
On Wednesday, Pichai told the New York Times that the company’s management was aware of the coming walkouts and that employees would “have the support they need if they wish to participate.”
“Employees have raised constructive ideas for how we can improve our policies and our processes,” Pichai told the Times, adding. “We are taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action.”