Home News Google’s historic 20,000-strong walkout against sexual harassment kicked off at Singapore headquarters

Google’s historic 20,000-strong walkout against sexual harassment kicked off at Singapore headquarters

- Advertisement -

In a protest against Google’s treatment of sexual harassment, at least 20,000 employees of the tech giant walked out on November 1 all over the globe—starting with Google’s Singapore office.

Google staff from Berlin, New York, Tokyo, Zurich and London, and other cities participated in the demonstration, entitled “Walkout for Real Change, November 1, 11:10 am.” The official Twitter page for the event reads that the walkout was held “to protest sexual harassment, misconduct, lack of transparency, and a workplace that doesn’t work for everyone.

Because Singapore is ahead by several hours, it was still October 31 in other parts of the globe when BBC’s Dave Lee tweeted a photo from Google’s local headquarters for Asia-Pacific at Pasir Panjang’s Mapletree Business City, that read, “The first of many coordinated #GoogleWalkout protests has begun – this is at the firm’s office in Singapore.”

- Advertisement 1-

The idea behind the “Walkout for Real Change” began after The New York Times ran a story on October 25 about how Google covered up allegations of sexual misconduct against Andy Rubin, who created Android’s operating systems. When an investigation in 2014 proved the victim’s story to be credible, Google asked for Rubin’s resignation. He was publicly praised by the company, as well as given a resignation package worth $90 million.

The same article showed that Google behaved similarly toward two other executives, and did not bring to light any accusations of sexual misconduct.

Rubin has denied the allegations, claiming them to be part of a “smear campaign” that his former wife waged against him after the marriage fell apart.

Some of Google’s staff organized the protest after the story came out, and in a few days, the number of employees unhappy with Google’s handling of the cases grew to 1,500, mostly women. One of the organizers, Claire Stapleton, a product marketing manager at Google’s YouTube, said, “We don’t want to feel that we’re unequal or we’re not respected anymore. 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.”

Organizers for the walkout said, “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.”

- Advertisement 2-

They also posted a letter showing their demands for change:

  1. An end to Forced Arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination (this would enable victims to file lawsuits against Google).
  2. A commitment to end pay and opportunity equity.
  3. A publicly disclosed sexual harassment transparency report.
  4. A clear, uniform, globally inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct policy safely and anonymously.
  5. Elevate the Chief Diversity Officer to answer directly to the CEO and make recommendations directly to the Board of Director. In addition, appoint an Employee Representative to the Board.

Sundar Pichai, the company’s CEO, has said in response that 48 people have been fired without payouts since 2016 due to sexual harassment. However, he has also voiced his support for the walkout and has pledged to change company policy concerning the matter.

Pichai said, “Moments like this show that we didn’t always get it right, and so we are committed to doing better. There’s anger and frustration within the company. We all feel it. I feel it too.”

Read related TIME’s Person of the Year features #MeToo victims of sexual assault

- Advertisement 3-

 

 Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

Read More

TikToker surprised to see SAF PT shorts featured in Shopee’s CNY sale

Singapore — Well, the shorts are red, after all.  And maybe someone at Shopee believes that wearing the dri-fit shorts used for physical training at the Singapore Armed Forces Officer Cadet School (OCS) during the Lunar New Year celebrations could bring...

Buy fish if you can’t afford chicken, President Halimah once said: Netizens point to pomfret’s pre-CNY price of $100 per kilo

Singapore -- As the price of premium fish such as pomfret and red grouper soar exponentially ahead of Chinese New Year, several netizens have...

‘Proud of my contribution to Singapore law’ — Lim Tean celebrates pub case win

Singapore — Lawyer and opposition leader Lim Tean called a judgment handed down by the High Court on Thursday (Jan 27) as one of...

Man rescues mynah with cable ties on mouth & legs in Pasir Ris

Singapore — A man walking along Pasir Ris Street 71 on Jan 15 spotted a Javan mynah with a cable tie on its mouth...

Healing the Divide’s Iris Koh now in SGH, hit with more serious charge of criminal conspiracy to lie to MOH

Singapore – Iris Koh,  co-founder of controversial anti-vaccine group Healing the Divide, had her the charge against her last Sunday upgraded on Friday (Jan...

TikToker surprised to see SAF PT shorts featured in Shopee’s CNY sale

Singapore — Well, the shorts are red, after all.  And maybe someone at Shopee believes that wearing the dri-fit shorts...

Buy fish if you can’t afford chicken, President Halimah once said: Netizens point to pomfret’s pre-CNY price of $100 per kilo

Singapore -- As the price of premium fish such as pomfret and red grouper soar exponentially ahead of Chinese...

‘Proud of my contribution to Singapore law’ — Lim Tean celebrates pub case win

Singapore — Lawyer and opposition leader Lim Tean called a judgment handed down by the High Court on Thursday...

Man rescues mynah with cable ties on mouth & legs in Pasir Ris

Singapore — A man walking along Pasir Ris Street 71 on Jan 15 spotted a Javan mynah with a...
Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg