Published: Sun, November 04, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

#GoogleWalkout: Google employees worldwide protest treatment of women

#GoogleWalkout: Google employees worldwide protest treatment of women

Google employees worldwide are staging walkouts to protest the tech giant's treatment of women at its company.

Hundreds of workers filed out of its European headquarters in Dublin shortly after 1100 local time, while organisers shared photographs on social media of hundreds more leaving Google offices in London, Zurich, Berlin, Tokyo and Singapore.

That "inappropriate behavior" is a reference to Android creator Andy Rubin, who the Times revealed was quietly given a $90 million golden parachute after the company discovered he allegedly coerced a woman into performing oral sex at a hotel in 2013.

However, Rubin denied the allegations this month and slammed New York Times on Twitter for containing "inaccuracies about my employment at Google and wild exaggerations about my compensation".

"Employees have raised constructive ideas for how we can improve our policies and our processes", he said. "We are taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action", he added.

But employees were not placated, and issued a list of demands during the Thursday walkout. They occupy slightly more than one quarter of leadership roles globally, according to Google data from 2017. The company gave former senior vice president Amit Singhal an exit package worth millions when he was forced to leave. Google employees around the world are participating and it's happening now.

"For every story in the New York Times, there are thousands more, at every level of the company". The workers also want the ability to bring any workplace sexual harassment charges in court as opposed through company arbitration.

The protests are set to continue in USA offices after 11 a.m. local time in each location.

Other executives were also named in the article, including Richard DeVaul, director of Google's X research lab.

But the signs and the chants blamed Google for not being forthcoming about its handling of harassment claims.

The CEO's response: Sundar Pichai has said he supports the employees' right to take action.

Prominent figures in the equality movement in have come out in full support of the walkouts, including Jackie Speiers, who posted a tweet slamming Google.

Among other things, Mr Pichai and Ms Naughton disclosed that Google had fired 48 employees, including 13 senior managers, for sexual harassment in recent years without providing severance packages.

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