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Massive Anti-Gender Discrimination Protest Hits Google Offices

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Staff at the Google offices around the world Thursday stage an unprecedented series of walkouts in protest against the company’s treatment of women.

The employees in the protest are demanding several key changes in how sexual misconduct allegations are dealt with at the firm, including a call to end forced arbitration – a move which would make it possible for victims to sue.

Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai already has replied staff that he supported their right to take the action.

“I understand the anger and disappointment that many of you feel,” he said in an all-staff email. “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.”

A Twitter feed titled @googlewalkout has documented the movement at Google’s international offices.

Google staff in Zurich, London, Tokyo, Singapore and Berlin were among those who took take part in the protest.

Factor that fueled the protest was allegation was a publication by New York Times that one high profile executive received a $90m payout after he left the firm, despite what Google considered a “credible” allegation of sexual misconduct made against him. Andy Rubin, known as the “creator” of the Android mobile operating system, denies the allegation.

On Tuesday, another executive – from the company’s X research lab – also resigned. Richard DeVaul was said to have made unwanted advances towards a woman who was recently interviewed for a job in which she would have reported to Mr. DeVaul.

Mr. DeVaul has not commented since his resignation, but in the past called the incident an “error of judgement”.

At least 48 other employees have been sacked for sexual harassment without receiving a payout. Mr. Pichai told staff. Still, he admitted that the New York Times’ report had been “difficult to read”. /BBC

 

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