Google staff walk out to protest treatment of women

Thousands of employees from around the world are expected to take part.

Google staff around the world are conducting a series of walkouts to protest the way the tech giant has treated women who have made allegations of sexual misconduct.

Thousands of employees are understood to be walking out, with demonstrations starting at just after 11am in Tokyo and due to take place at 11am in other time zones.

Those taking part are being encouraged to leave a Post-it note on their desk saying: "I'm not at my desk because I'm walking out in solidarity with other Googlers and contractors to protest sexual harassment, misconduct, lack of transparency, and a workplace culture that's not working for everyone."

It has recently emerged that former Google employee Andy Rubin – known as the creator of Android – received a payout of $90m (£69.9m) when he left the company in 2014, despite an allegation of sexual misconduct against him that Google considered "credible".

In an email to staff yesterday, chief executive Sundar Pichai said Google had in the past two years terminated the contracts of 48 people on sexual harassment grounds – including 13 senior managers – and none of these had received a payout.

Telling employees that he supported their right to conduct the walkout, Pichai wrote: "I understand the anger and disappointment that many of you feel. I feel it as well, and I am fully committed to making progress on an issue that has persisted for far too long in our society… and, yes, here at Google, too."

Pichai has worked at Google since 2004 and became chief executive in 2015, when Alphabet was created as the parent company of Google.

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