A week after 20,000 employees walked out in protest over sexual misconduct and inequality at Google, the company said Thursday that it will commit to building a safer workplace, which includes ending forced arbitration and increasing its transparency on reported incidents of sexual misconduct.
Speaking at a lunch hosted by the Canadian Club in Toronto, Geremia says Google has taken a much harder line on inappropriate behaviour, especially in the last two years, and that no one is more keen to solve issues around misconduct than its chief executive officer Sundar Pichai.
Pichai's comments come after the company's controversial attempt to launch a censored search product in China - known as Project Dragonfly - triggered an outcry among employees and United States politicians amid an escalating trade war and concerns over freedom of speech. (He does not address discrimination claims.) The company will also begin providing more detailed information about the process and outcomes in sexual harassment investigations. "And we will double down on our commitment to be a representative, equitable and respectful workplace", said Pichai.
A section of an internal "Investigations Report" will focus on sexual harassment to show numbers of substantiated concerns as well as trends and disciplinary actions, according to the California-based company. Google states that "excessive consumption of alcohol is not permitted when you are at work, performing Google business, or attending a Google-related event, whether onsite or offsite".
Google employees stage a walkout on November 1.
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Google is one of the world's most profitable multinational technology companies. That's happening externally, with increased scrutiny by regulators and politicians, and internally with reports and rising complaints about Google's permissive culture when it comes to executive conduct and relationships with co-workers.
Protest organizers said Google publicly champions diversity and inclusion but doesn't do enough to put words into action.
In the article, titled, "Google Workers Reject Silicon Valley Individualism in Walkout", Scheiber claimed the mass organization was evidence of a rejection of Silicon Valley's formerly individualist identity. "Whatever form it takes, I actually don't know the answer", said Pichai in an interview with The New York Times published on Thursday.
In a statement, organisers commended Google for the response, but said more changes are needed. The report said Rubin received a $90 million severance package in 2014 even though Google concluded the sexual misconduct allegations against him were credible. Those making claims will be allowed to bring a colleague with them when making a report and the company intends to create a dedicated group in its Employee Relations team to advise claimants.