The Google walkout protesters are demanding the company now takes action on ‘systemic racism’
- The Google walkout protesters have commended the company‘s swift action on sexual harassment.
- CEO Sundar Pichai set out a number of changes on Thursday, including abolishing forced arbitration in cases of sexual misconduct.
- But the campaigners want to see a lot more change on diversity.
- They said Google must address issues of “systemic racism and discrimination.”
The Google walkout campaigners have spoken after the company announced a series of measures designed to address the mass staff protest last week over sexual harassment.
CEO Sundar Pichai circulated a memo on Thursday spelling out the steps Google would take, including abolishing forced arbitration in cases of sexual misconduct and introducing new rules for drinking at work.
In a Medium blog post, the Google Walkout For Real Change group praised Google for taking swift action on the issue of sexual harassment. “We commend this progress, and the rapid action which brought it about,” they said.
Reflecting on the fact that 20,000 workers left their desk last Thursday to call for change, the campaigners added: “What they showed is that collective action works, and when we work together we can make change.”
But the Google Walkout For Real Change group was not satisfied with the firm’s action on diversity. As part of their demands last week, the protesters asked Google to make a “commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity.”
They also said Google’s Chief Diversity Officer, Danielle Mastrangel Brown, should be promoted and report directly to Pichai. An employee representative should also sit on the Google board, they added.
In response to this, Pichai said in his memo: “We will recommit to our company-wide OKR [objectives and key results] around diversity, equity and inclusion again in 2019, focused on improving representation — through hiring, progression and retention — and creating a more inclusive culture for everyone.”
Protesters were not happy.
“The company must address issues of systemic racism and discrimination, including pay equity and rates of promotion,” they said on Medium. “Sexual harassment is the symptom, not the cause. If we want to end sexual harassment in the workplace, we must fix these structural imbalances of power.”
Organizer Demma Rodriguez added: “The process by which we build a truly equitable culture must center the voices of black women, immigrants, and people of color — those who too often pay the most in the face of these intersecting problems. We are committed to making this happen, because true equity depends on it.”
Organizers said they “look forward” to meeting Google to discuss their demands.