For quite a while now, Google has been touted as the place to work. Great salaries, bars and canteens, fantastic benefits have made the company the go-to destination for the best and brightest. However, material benefits are not all that matter and as if to stress that point, hundreds of its employees and contractors across Asia are walking out of offices to protest what some are calling a “non-sensitive work culture”.
From complaints of sexism, racism and unharnessed use of executive power, the employee movement at Google offices is picking up pace and what took place in Asia, is expected to be replicated at locations across the globe. The organizers of the movement are calling for Google parent Alphabet to add an employee representative to its board of directors and internally share pay-equity data.
Speaking on the topic, Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said:
…..employees have raised constructive ideas [and that the company was] taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action.
Of course, he did not remark on the rather….aggressive manner of protest Google employees were forced to adapt to get their “constructive” feedback noticed.
Internally, the tech giant has always had at least some employee dissidence regarding less diversity and the treatment meted out to women and minorities. However, things seem to have come to a head after a New York Times report last week said that Google in 2014 gave a $90 million exit package to SVP Andy Rubin, post his departure from the company after sexual harassment complaints.
The movement was planned by employees on Thursday, who appeared to have felt that th ongoing passive discussions weren’t effecting the change they were hoping for, and that they needed to resort to more dramatic measures – which is rather sad, as Google as a company has been known for the exceptional transparency it maintains with its employees.
Calling for the company to publicly report its sexual harassment statistics and end forced arbitration in harassment cases, the organizers of the movement said:
While Google has championed the language of diversity and inclusion, substantive actions to address systemic racism, increase equity, and stop sexual harassment have been few and far between.
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