Google updates sexual harassment policies following protest

Irving Hamilton
November 9, 2018

In a letter sent to all employees, the company's chief executive Sundar Pichai said Google was updating its rules, including introducing a drinking limit for staff.

According to Google Walkout for Real Change, the protesters' goals included several policy changes at the tech firm, including "a publicly disclosed sexual harassment transparency report" and "a commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity".

Further, Google says it will implement an Investigations Practice Guide that will outline how investigations will be handled and what employees can expect from the process.

At the technology giant's London office near King's Cross station, a crowd of around 100 workers congregated outside. "It's clear we need to make some changes", Pichai stated in his emailed memo.

He also pledged to provide more detail around sexual harassment investigations and outcomes at the company as part of Google's Investigations Report. The breakdowns will include the number of cases that were substantiated within various company departments and list the types of punishment imposed, including firings, pay cuts and mandated counselling.

China's Xinhua agency unveils AI news presenter
It's very flat, very single-paced, it's not got rhythm, pace or emphasis", Prof Wooldridge told the BBC . A Chinese speaking "artificial intelligence" anchor has also been unveiled, with a different face.

"But the issues that contributed to the walkout at Google - the company's controversial work with the Pentagon on artificial intelligence, its apparent willingness to build a censored search engine for China, and above all its handling of sexual harassment accusations against senior managers - proved too large for any one worker to confront alone, even if that worker made mid-six figures", he continued. Those who fall behind in their training, including top executives, will be dinged in their annual performance reviews, leaving a blemish that could lower their pay and make it more hard to get promoted.

The reforms are the latest fallout from a broader backlash against men's exploitation of their female subordinates. Another request is to have an employee representative on Google's board.

The protest came a week after a New York Times story detailed allegations of sexual misconduct about creator of its Android software, Andy Rubin.

Rubin derided the Times story article as inaccurate and denied the allegations in a tweet.

Critics believe that gender imbalance has created a "brogammer" culture akin to a college fraternity house that treats women as sex objects.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER