Google employees walked out of the company’s offices around the world on Thursday, in protest of the search giant’s handling of sexual harassment claims — specifically at the executive level.
The walkout began around 11 a.m. local time in Tokyo. Other offices including Singapore, Dublin, London, Berlin, Zurich and New York followed suit at 11 a.m. in their respective time zones. The Twitter account @GoogleWalkout and hashtag #GoogleWalkout tracked the protests as they occurred across the globe.
In Mountain View, California, Google’s global headquarters, employees streamed into a central plaza, near a building where Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s office is located. Employees spoke at a microphone, and the crowd chanted “Time is up!” and “Stand up! Fight back!” They held up signs that said “Stand up for Google women” and “Google men stand with Google women.” Some people wore “Black Lives Matter” shirts. Others wore shirts that said “Protect! Respect! Defend!” with a Google logo on the sleeve.
Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Sundar Pichai, and Eric Schmidt rarely listen to their critics, but maybe they’ll listen to their employees this time and change of their bad business practices.
It was wrong of Google to give Andy Rubin a $90 million golden parachute. It is wrong that Google insists on forced arbitration in sexual harassment and sexual assault cases. It is wrong that Google won’t publicly disclose how pervasive this problem is.