GOOGLE EMPLOYEES around the world have taken part in a mass walkout in a protest against what they believe are ‘sexist' policies.
The groups are campaigning for better handling of sexual misconduct cases like that of Android founder Andy Rubin who was said to have received a $90m payout after being removed from post.
One aspect that the campaigners are keen to change is the forced use of arbitration within the company. Whilst this is largely down to Google's attempts to ‘keep it friendly', removing it would allow Googlers to sue, and that, say the protestors, is only fair.
For his part, Google's Chief Executive Sundar Pichai has told the employees that he supports them, if only for their right to take action.
"I understand the anger and disappointment that many of you feel," he told them in a full-company round-robin. "I feel it as well, and I am fully committed to making progress on an issue that has persisted for far too long in our society… and, yes, here at Google, too."
London workers at Google's offices in Holborn, Kings Cross and Shoreditch were among those who joined the strike which also saw walkouts in Dublin, Singapore and of course Mountain View, as well as many other Google sites in the US and beyond.
Many left a note at their workstation explaining:
"I'm not at my desk because I'm walking out with other Googlers and contractors to protest sexual harassment, misconduct, lack of transparency, and a workplace culture that's not working for everyone."
As many as 48 members of staff have been sacked from roles at Google, though it appears that a payout like Mr Rubin's is not standard with most just fading into the night.
Formal demands from the protestors include equal pay and opportunity, public disclosure of sexual harassment, a clear, standardised misconduct policy, the Head of Diversity's position accelerated to answer direct to Mr Pichai and reporting directly to the board which should have an employee representative, and the aforementioned end of arbitration .
Mr Pichai said in a statement: "We are taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action."
This from a company that recently invented a real life gaydar. μ
The app now meets the DoD's compliance standards, apparently
For folks who like their tweets in real-time
43 Days. Thousands of responses. Huge potential for improvements
It also risks a fine of, er, £8,100