Despite it being a world where supposedly both genders are offered, largely, the same opportunities, there have been a number of high-profile cases in recent history where workplace culture has fallen under grim scrutiny. It has also been apparent that there are still a large number of sexual harassment cases being levied throughout the west – to the extent where fairly large heads have rolled as certain cultures have been pressurized into making much-needed changes. Uber, as a major example, faced allegations of such a nature during investigations in recent years – which resulted in the installation of a new CEO and a serious rethink behind the scenes.
Google is one of the biggest brands in the west, if not the world – and this week, many of its employees have walked out en masse in protest with regard to the way the web giant treats its women. The walkout, which took place on November 1st, was fully chronicled via the Twitter account @googlewalkout, which took place to raise strong concerns over a number of policies many staff insist are in need of changing. One of the most prevalent controversies highlighted by the walkouts is that of Google’s current policy with regard to the handling of allegations of sexual misconduct – with many female employees demanding that an end to forced arbitration be drafted in. This, in effect, would allow victims of sexual harassment within the firm to be able to sue.
One of the main trigger points for the protests was the allegations surrounding Andy Rubin, a high profile Google executive who is rumoured to have received a sizable payout of $90 million when he left the business, despite the fact that Google had considered a complaint of sexual misconduct made against him. Rubin has denied the allegation published by the New York Times – but he is not the only name to leave Google with harassment allegations at the heart of matters. It’s thought that around 48 other employees have been sacked as a result of allegations of this nature.
Strikes and walkouts took place at various Google locations around the world, including London, New York, Dublin, Singapore and Zurich. The workers request that Google makes a solid commitment to end inequality in pay and opportunities – as well as public sexual harassment report transparency, clearer uniform reporting processes and the appointment of an employee representation to the board.