Tech: Google staff are abandoning their desks at 11 a.m. today in protest at sexual misconduct

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

Google walkout campaigners predict that thousands of employees will take part following last week's explosive New York Times report.

  • Google staff all over the world are staging a walkout at 11 a.m. today in protest at sexual misconduct.
  • Campaigners predict that thousands of employees will take part following last week's explosive New York Times report.
  • Staff are calling for five changes, including a sexual harassment transparency report.
  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai said he supports the protest and is listening to staff.

Google employees all over the world are abandoning their desk at 11 a.m. today in protest at the company's handling of sexual misconduct allegations.

It is thought that thousands of staff will stage a 10-minute walkout under a campaign dubbed "Google Walkout For Real Change."

The protest follows an explosive report in The New York Times last week, detailing the alleged misconduct of senior executives, as well as Google's admission that it fired 48 people for sexual harassment over the past two years.

Twitter and Instagram accounts have sprung up this week, posting pictures of and information about the protest, which is being observed at Google offices around the world. Here is the Singapore office walking out:

In an automated email to Business Insider, campaign organisers said they were "disgusted" by the details of The New York Times report. They said it is an example of a "culture of complicity, dismissiveness, and support for perpetrators in the face of sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse of power."

They have a list of five demands for change. Here they are in the campaign's own words:

  1. An end to Forced Arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination for all current and future employees.
  2. A commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity.
  3. A publicly disclosed sexual harassment transparency report.
  4. A clear, uniform, globally inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously.
  5. Elevate the Chief Diversity Officer to answer directly to the CEO and make recommendations directly to the Board of Directors. Appoint an Employee Rep to the Board.

Many Googlers are voicing their support for the protest on social media, with some indicating their plan to participate when it is 11 a.m. in their timezone. They are using the hashtag #GoogleWalkout.

"I'm walking out tomorrow with thousands of my coworkers because I believe it's past time for this abuse to stop. It's clear neither government nor business leaders will fix this on their own. We have to do this ourselves y'all," engineer Amr Gaber said on Twitter.

Read more: Google is 'bold and inspired' for coming clean about its 'Game of Thrones' culture of sex and power

YouTube policy executive Stephanie Parker added: "I'm walking out tomorrow for myself, my co-workers, and everyone whose story has never been told."

In a comment to The New York Times, YouTube Product Marketing Manager Claire Stapleton said: "Google’s famous for its culture. But in reality we’re not even meeting the basics of respect, justice and fairness for every single person here."

In a statement to Business Insider, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said management supports the protest. He said:

"We let Googlers know that we are aware of the activities planned for Thursday and that employees will have the support they need if they wish to participate.

"Employees have raised constructive ideas for how we can improve our policies and our processes going forward. We are taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action."

Pichai and Larry Page, the CEO of Google's parent company Alphabet, both apologized to staff last week for the company's record on sexual misconduct. Pichai reinforced that apology in an email to staff this week.

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