Google staff in walkout over treatment of women

The Google protest is billed Walkout For Real Change

The Google protest is billed Walkout For Real Change

The protest, billed the "Walkout For Real Change", comes comes a week after The New York Times revealed that Andy Rubin - creator of Google's Android software - received a $90m severance package despite being sacked over accusations of sexual misconduct. Employees in the Tokyo, Singapore, Berlin, London, Dublin and NY offices have already taken part, with California expected to follow suit.

The exercise in armchair protesting came in the wake of a New York Times story that detailed allegations of sexual misconduct against a handful of Google employees including Android software creator Andy Rubin and Richard DeVaul, a director at Google's X lab, which has worked on the self-driving vehicle and Internet-beaming balloon projects.

Mr Rubin denied the allegation in the story, which he also said contained "wild exaggerations" about his compensation.

CEO Sundar Pichai said the company was aware of the planned protests and said employees would "have the support they need if they wish to participate". We are taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action'.

"I know some [female Google employees] have experienced" some type of sexism at the company, he said.

Sam Singer, a spokesman for Rubin, rejected the allegations against him in a statement to AFP, saying Rubin left Google of his own accord.

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Google employees walk off the job to protest the company's handling of sexual misconduct claims, on November 1, 2018, in Mountain View, California.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, now employs 94,372 people as of its most recent quarter. These included Richard DeVaul, a director at the Google-affiliated lab that created far-flung projects such as self-driving cars and internet-beaming balloons.

The email did not mention the reported incidents involving Rubin, DeVaul or anyone else, but Pichai did not dispute the veracity of the New York Times story. Google fired 48 employees for sexual harassment during the past two years and has not provided the employees severance packages, the company added.

The protestors demanded that the company report sexual harassment statistics publicly and that it ends private arbitration of such cases.

"Why do they think it's OK to reward perpetrators and further violate victims?" asked Jackie Speier, who represents an affluent district where many of Google's employees live.

"It's time we stop congratulating ourselves just because it used to be so much worse", Google Engineering Manager Raymond Blum told CNBC.

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