Sexual Harassment
Sundar Pichai said Google will take more powerful steps, including making arbitration optional for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims.
  • Friday, November 09, 2018 - 10:51

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has said the company has worked out a new comprehensive policy to address diversity and sexual harassment that became a great concern of Google employees.

In an email to Google workers, Pichai on Thursday admitted that Google has "not always gotten everything right in the past," for which he felt "sincerely" sorry and vowed to make some changes, Xinhua news agency reported.

Pichai's disclosure came after over 20,000 Google employees worldwide walked out last week in protest of sexual harassment at the company and its improper handling of sexual misbehaviour allegations against top executives.

Google "will provide more transparency on how we handle concerns. We'll give better support and care to the people who raise them," said the Google CEO.

He said Google will take more powerful steps to address sexual harassment, including making arbitration optional for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims.

"We're revamping the way we handle and look into your concerns... we will update and expand our mandatory sexual harassment training," he said.

"We will double down on our commitment to be a representative, equitable, and respectful workplace," Pichai promised.

The new policy changes unveiled by Google have virtually met most of the requirements by Google protesters, except the one that demanded a place for an employee representative on the company's board.

Organisers of last week's massive protests called for more transparency in handling sexual harassment, employee empowerment, and inequality over pay and work opportunities.

The organisers of the protest demanded five changes in the company.

-An end to forced arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination.

-A commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity.

-A publicly disclosed sexual harassment transparency report.

-A clear, uniform, globally inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously.

-Elevate the Chief Diversity Officer to answer directly to the CEO and make recommendations directly to the board of directors. In addition, appoint an employee representative to the board.

The global walkout spread to many countries in Europe, North America and Asia, including Britain, Singapore, Japan, Germany, and Google's headquarters in Mountain View in northern California.