Google employees across the world abandoned their desks at 11 a.m. on November 1, as a mark of protest at the manner in which the American multinational technology company has dealt with the allegations of sexual misconduct.
The protest came on the heels of a report published in The New York Times revealing the apparent misconduct of senior managers of Google. The report also disclosed that the Company had admitted to terminating 48 of its staff members for sexual harassment in the last two years!
Disappointed by what appeared to the employees as abuse of power and a dismissive attitude towards a serious issue, the staff decided to make their disgust public. They openly raised their voices against the Company’s culture that seemed to have been lenient with the culprits in cases of sexual misconduct.
The protestors have put forward a list of demands, seeking significant changes.
• They have sought an end to discrimination and forced arbitration in harassment cases.
• They want Google to commit to bringing about equality in pay and opportunity.
• The employees have insisted on a publicly-revealed sexual harassment transparency report.
• The workforce has also insisted on a clearly defined process —globally applicable — for reporting sexual misconduct that ensures safety and anonymity to the reporter.
• Appointment of an employee representative to the Board is also one of their demands, along with the elevation of the chief diversity officer to report directly to the CEO and with power to approach the Board of Directors with recommendations.
As per Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google, the management is in support of the workers’ protest and is open to their feedback and suggestions. Both Pichai and Larry Page, CEO, Alphabet Google’s parent company issued an apology to the workforce recently for the Company’s dismal track record in terms of sexual harassment cases.