Almost 17,000 Googlers walked out to protest of sexual misconduct at the company

Katie Canales/Business InsiderGoogle staff walk out in San Francisco.
  • Googlers all over the world walked out en masse on Thursday in protest of the company’s record on sexual misconduct.
  • The protest followed a bombshell article in the New York Times that detailed sexual misconduct allegations against senior executives, specifically against Android creator Andy Rubin, though he has denied the claims.
  • The organisers behind the protest said that nearly 17,000 Google employees took part in the walkout, and they aren’t done counting yet.

Thousands of Google staff around the world voiced their discontent on Thursday by leaving their desks at 11 a.m. to protest Google’s record of sexual misconduct, in what appeared to the first coordinated global walkout at a major tech firm.

The protest, which organiser Claire Stapleton told journalist Katie Couric was a “grassroots, groundswell movement,” took place after staff dismay at a New York Times report which detailed allegations of sexual misconduct levelled at senior executives and apparent protection from Google. One notable figure at the centre of sexual misconduct allegations was Andy Rubin creator of Android, who reportedly received a $US90 million exit package. Rubin has denied any misconduct.


Read more:
As employees walked out, Google CEO Sundar Pichai apologised again for how it handled sexual misconduct allegations: “We didn’t always get it right”

The first walkout happened in Singapore, and then swept around the globe all the way to Google’s headquarters in California.

The tenor of the protest varied with their location, with hundreds of Googlers walking out of the firm’s Mountain View headquarters in the US and holding up signs and shouting slogans. Employees across Google’s offices in London were more muted, mostly staging their protest indoors and briefly exiting the building in the pouring rain.

The protesting Googlers had a list of five demands for changes the corporate culture at Google:

  1. An end to Forced Arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination.
  2. A commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity.
  3. A publicly disclosed sexual harassment transparency report.
  4. A clear, uniform, globally inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously.
  5. Elevate the Chief Diversity Officer to answer directly to the CEO and make recommendations directly to the Board of Directors. Appoint an Employee Rep to the Board.

The movement’s official Twitter account said that all in all nearly 17,000 Googlers took part in the walkout, but wasn’t done counting when it published that figure.

Business Insider has contacted the Google Walkout organisers for its most up-to-date figure.

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