Google employees all over the world are staging an international walkout while protesting sexual harassment in the work place today, Thursday in what is now tagged “International Walkout Day”.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai has expressed the company’s support of the protest in an internal email sent to Googlers.
The demonstrations, dubbed ‘Google Walkout,’ follow an outcry over a New York Times investigation that detailed a disappointing history of handling sexual harassment cases by the company. The report highlighted a slap on the wrist approach to handling sexual harassment cases, giving multimillion-dollar severance packages for accused executives, and a lack of transparency over the cases
Demonstrations have already been reported in Asia. Around 150 Google employees in India participated in the walkouts, a company spokesman said. Google (GOOGL) has about 2,000 staff members across Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Demonstrations were also reported in Google’s Singapore and Tokyo Offices.
According to social media posts, Google staffers around the world planned to walk out of their offices at 11:10 a.m. Thursday to demand changes at the company, including an end to the use of forced arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai has expressed his support for the walkouts.
‘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,’ Pichai said in a statement.
‘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.’
Organizers of the walkouts said they expected more than 1,500 people — mostly women — to take part across nearly two dozen Google offices around the world, according to a New York Times report Wednesday.
It’s unclear if Nigerian Googlers will also be participating in the walkout.
In the United States, there are hundreds of posts on social media using the hashtag #googlewalkout.
The Protest comes on the heels of the New York Times report detailing the company’s dismal handling of sexual harassment cases. The report alleged Google gave Android founder Andy Rubin a slap on the wrist, with a $90-million-dollar severance pay even though he had been accused of assaulting a female employee with whom he was having an affair. The New York Times investigated the claims and said it found them to be credible.
Rubin’s lawyer has called the allegations false.
Top executives stressed to employees that the company is ‘dead serious about making sure we provide a safe and inclusive workplace’ in an email sent shortly after the Times investigation was published last week.