Google employees walked out across the world this week to stand together in protest after The New York Times published an article on against how Google has paid millions to male executives accused of sexual harassment and misconduct.
The article discusses how, in 2014 Andy Rubin, creator of Android software, left Google with Larry Page, chief executive at the time, wishing Andy “all the best with what’s next” in a public statement. Google did not publicise that $90 million was being paid to Andy in $2 million installments per month after investigating a ‘credible’ accusation of sexual misconduct regarding an incident in 2013 and requesting his resignation. Mr Rubin denies any misconduct and states that the report of his compensation is a “wild exaggeration”. The last payment of this package is due to be paid next month, according to The New York Times’ sources with knowledge of the terms.
In response to the article, Google announced via email to their employees that they have fired 48 people for sexual harassment over the last two years without any severance packages. Larry Page, chief executive of Google’s parent company Alphabet, and Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google, released apologies. Another executive, Richard DeVaul, had been previously accused of harassment but remained employed by Alphabet. He resigned without an exit package in recent weeks.
Atlanta, New York, Manhattan, London, Hyderabad, Singapore, Dublin and Zurich were part of the 47 offices participating in the walkout. Twitter was swarmed with #GoogleWalkout sharing images of the protests globally. The organisers of the protest have publicly released their demands to Google to have transparency on previous harassment claims as well as a “uniform, globally inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct” along with other requests relating to the gender pay gap and ending forced arbitration.