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Google walkout protestors demand action on ‘systemic racism’



Google walkout.JPG
Google walkout protesters
last week.


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

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.

Read more: Google employees all over the
world left their desk and walked out in protest over sexual

Google Inc. CEO Sundar Pichai
CEO Sundar Pichai.


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.

Pichai’s changes were detailed in
full in a three-page document
, while the original demands made by the
Google Walkout For Real Change group are listed here.

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