Google's Australian staff walked out and heard that sexual misconduct is 'a terrible part of our culture that's here in Sydney'

Google staff in Sydney joined their global counterparts by staging a mass walkout today in protest of sexual misconduct.

The protest began at 11am as temperatures started climbing toward a scorching predicted high of 36C:

Google protest in Sydney. Picture: Sarah Kimmorley

Those gathered heard stories of misconduct. One speaker said: “This is a terrible part of our culture that’s here in Sydney, and part of the wider Sydney tech community.”

“We don’t have the time to share all these stories today.”

Google employees were been “encouraged” not to talk to journalists in favour of sharing their stories on social media.

A request for comment from Google Australia returned only the statement handed out by Google CEO Sundar Pichai:

“Earlier this week, we let Googlers know that we are aware of the activities planned for today 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.”

Here are some more pics from the protest, where around 200 people gathered:

Picture: Sarah Kimmorley
Picture: Sarah Kimmorley

Employees got up to share their experiences and stories. “This is better than I was expecting, that was incredible,” one person said afterwards.

Everyone was told “psychologists will be available” after the protest.

“We will judge you by your actions, not your words,” was one of the final telling messages to Google’s management.

And then, about 40 minutes after it started, it was back to work:

Picture: Sarah Kimmorley

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