Employee Walkout Highlights Google’s Workplace Culture Problem
Based on the size and scope of yesterday’s employee-initiated walkout, I’d say Google has a significant problem on their hands. Thousands of workers and supporters left their desks yesterday in major Google markets including London, Dublin, Montreal, Singapore, New York City, San Francisco and Seattle. The protesters are demanding a harassment free workplace, an end to forced arbitration of harassment cases, gender pay equality, and a process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously.
Google has been dogged by a boys club image for years, and has been accused of sweeping sexual misconduct allegations under the rug. Recently the situation boiled over when Android co-creator Andy Rubin was given a $90M exit package despite multiple relationships with other employees and credible accusations of sexual misconduct made against him.
This feels like a legitimate movement that can’t just be dismissed by Google execs. I’d expect Sundar Pichai to take this seriously and start thinking about ways to initiate a cultural overhaul. I’m also wondering if other tech publishers are worried they could have a future walkout on their ends too. #TimesUp is an understatement.