Hundreds of Google employees in more than 20 offices around the world walked out of their offices in a global protest over how the company deals with sexual harassment.
The demonstrations came in the wake of an explosive New York Times’ report that detailed how Google stayed silent about sexual misconduct allegations against its executives, either by keeping them on staff or allowing them amicable departures.
“We’re walking out in support of those who’ve been harassed anywhere in the workplace, and to ensure that perpetrators are not rewarded and are not protected,” Sam Dutton, a developer advocate at Google, told CNN in London.
According to social media posts, they want changes at the company that include an end to the use of forced arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination.
Organizers of the walk-out demand more transparency from Google around its handling of sexual harassment and pay and opportunity inequality, as well as more employee empowerment overall, according a statement circulated by organizers and sent to company executives.
“While Google has championed the language of diversity and inclusion, substantive actions to address systemic racism, increase equity, and stop sexual harassment have been few and far between,” the employee statement reads. “ENOUGH. Reassuring PR won’t cut it: we need transparency, accountability, and structural change.”
“We let Googlers know that we are aware of the activities planned and that employees will have the support they need if they wish to participate,” Pichai said in a statement to CNN on Wednesday. “Employees have raised constructive ideas for how we can improve our policies and our processes going forward,” he said. “We are taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action.”