Google staff planning "women's walk" protest

Female staff furious that powerful men are getting dismissed with "golden parachutes" after awful behaviour

google building

More than 200 Google engineers are reportedly planning a walkout this week in protest to the company's alleged handling of sexual misconduct.

Recent news reports have said the tech giant had protected employees found guilty of engaging in sexual misconduct and even paid out large severance packages, such as the $90 million allegedly given to Android creator Andy Rubin.

Rubin left the company in 2014 following an investigation after an employee accused him of coercing them to perform oral sex. The investigation is said to have found the allegations credible. The report also suggested a number of Google executives who had committed similar offences still worked for the tech giant.

In light of these allegations, some Google staff members have spoken to BuzzFeed about setting up a company-wide "women's walk" in protest.

"Personally, I'm furious," an anonymous Google employee said. "I feel like there's a pattern of powerful men getting away with awful behaviour towards women at Google or if they don't get away with it, they get a slap on the wrist, or they get sent away with a golden parachute, like Andy Rubin. And it's a leader of mostly men making the decisions about what kind of consequences to give, or not give."

Google responded to the reports on Friday by stating that it had sacked 48 people, including 13 senior managers, over sexual harassment claims since 2016 and that none of them had received an exit package.

According to an email sent to employees at the tech giant, CEO Sundar Pichai said that the company was "taking an increasingly hard line on inappropriate conduct by people in positions of authority".

Google has had a year of troubles with staff protesting. In August, employees rallied against the company's plans to develop a censored version of its search engine in China.

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