Google employees leave work to protest treatment of women


Google employees left work to protest against the treatment of women. They were seen carrying signs that included a mocking use of the company’s original “Don’t be evil” motto.

Thousands of Google employees around the world briefly walked off the job Thursday to protest against what they said was the tech giant’s mishandling of sexual misconduct allegations against executives.

From Tokyo, Singapore and London to New York, Seattle and San Francisco, highly paid engineers and other workers staged walkouts of about an hour, reflecting rising #MeToo-era frustration among women over frat-house behavior and other misconduct in heavily male Silicon Valley.

Organizers used megaphones to address the outdoor crowd of men and women, in Dublin.  While in other places, workers gathered in packed conference rooms or lobbies. In New York, there appeared to be as many men as women out in the streets, while in Cambridge, Massachusetts, men outnumbered women by perhaps 6 to 1.

“Time is up on sexual harassment!” organizer Vicki Tardif Holland shouted, her voice hoarse, at a gathering of about 300 people in Cambridge. “Time is up on systemic racism. Time is up on abuses of power. Enough is enough!”

Approximately 1,000 Google workers in San Francisco swarmed into a plaza in front of the city’s historic Ferry Building, chanting, “Women’s rights are workers’ rights!” Thousands turned out at Google’s Mountain View, California, headquarters.



The protests happened a week after The New York Times detailed allegations of sexual misconduct about the creator of Google’s Android software, Andy Rubin. The newspaper said Rubin received a $90 million severance package in 2014 after Google concluded the accusations were credible. Rubin has denied the allegations.

The same story also disclosed allegations of sexual misconduct against other executives, including Richard DeVaul, a director at the Google-affiliated lab that created self-driving cars and internet-beaming balloons. DeVaul had remained at the “X″ lab after the accusations surfaced a few years ago, but resigned on Tuesday without severance, Google said.

In an unconfirmed statement, the Google protesters called for an end to forced arbitration in harassment and discrimination cases, a practice that requires employees to give up their right to sue and often includes confidentiality agreements.

Apart from being angry about what they think has been lenient handling of executives who mistreat women, the protest organizers demanded that more aggressive steps be taken for gender pay equity and more inclusive hiring practices to reduce the high concentration of white and Asian men in the industry’s best-paying programming jobs.

Women account for 31 percent of Google’s employees worldwide currently consist of about 31 percent most of whom hold lower leadership roles. The numbers are similar elsewhere in Silicon Valley.



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