- Google staff members around the world began staging walkouts at 11 a.m. in their respective time zones on Thursday in protest of sexual misconduct.
- Campaigners predict that thousands of employees will take part after last week’s explosive New York Times report.
- Employees are calling for five changes, including a sexual-harassment transparency report.
- Google CEO Sundar Pichai said he supported the protest and was listening to his staff.
- You can follow Business Insider’s live coverage of the walkout here.
Google employees around the world began abandoning their desks at 11 a.m. in their respective time zones on Thursday to protest the company’s handling of sexual-misconduct allegations.
Thousands of workers were expected to stage a 10-minute walkout under a campaign dubbed “Google Walkout For Real Change.”
The protest follows an explosive report in The New York Times last week detailing Google’s response to accusations of misconduct by senior executives and Google’s subsequent acknowledgment that it fired 48 people for sexual harassment over the past two years.
Twitter and Instagram accounts have sprung up this week posting pictures of and information about the protest, which is being observed at Google offices around the world. Here is the Singapore office walking out:
Google’s office in Zurich also staged a mass walkout. A software engineer named Danila Sinopalnikov posted the below picture of the gathered crowd.
Below was the scene in London.
The Business Insider reporter Shona Ghosh was at Google’s St Giles Street offices in London. An employee taking part told her: “I’m proud that we’re now supporting everyone, and hopefully now gives them a voice which most seem to feel they have not had before.”
The employees have a list of five demands for change. Here they are in the campaign’s own words:
- An end to Forced Arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination for all current and future employees.
- A commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity.
- A publicly disclosed sexual harassment transparency report.
- A clear, uniform, globally inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously.
- 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.
Many Googlers have voiced their support for the protest on social media, with some indicating their plan to participate. They have used the hashtag #GoogleWalkout.
“I’m walking out tomorrow with thousands of my coworkers because I believe it’s past time for this abuse to stop,” an engineer named Amr Gaber said on Twitter. “It’s clear neither government nor business leaders will fix this on their own. We have to do this ourselves y’all.”
The YouTube policy executive Stephanie Parker added: “I’m walking out tomorrow for myself, my co-workers, and everyone whose story has never been told.”
In a comment to The New York Times, the YouTube product marketing manager Claire Stapleton said: “Google’s famous for its culture. But in reality we’re not even meeting the basics of respect, justice, and fairness for every single person here.”
In a statement to Business Insider, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said management supported the protest. He said:
“We let Googlers know that we are aware of the activities planned for Thursday and that employees will 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 going forward. We are taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action.”
Pichai and Larry Page, the CEO of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, apologised to Google’s staff last week for the company’s record on sexual misconduct. Pichai reinforced that apology in a staff email this week.