Just a few days back, the internet giant Google was accused of shielding Android creator Andy Rubin. Rubin allegedly forced a female employee to have oral sex. It was said that he was given a farewell like a hero back in 2014 with a hefty pay when he decided to leave Google. Naturally, this is a very serious allegation that instantly attracted criticism. It questioned Google’s stance on sexual harassment.
Soon, Google’s answer about protecting sexual harassers came from CEO Sundar Pichai in form of an internal email.
About dealing with sexual harassment and misconducts, the CEO emailed employees revealing that the company has fired over 48 people in course of 2 years for the same.
Pichai further revealed that 13 people among the lot held the position of senior managers or above. Indirectly countering the allegations about Andy Rubin, he further said that none of these employees received any exit packages.
The world of Silicon Valley is already accused of being dominated by whites and males. Even in Google about 75% of the leadership or high ranking positions are held by white or Asian males. It’s very natural that any allegation of sexual misconduct, in such a scenario, will bring the workplace of Google under heavy public scrutiny.
Hence, the email was a necessary step to clear the air regarding the allegations. Pichai further said that the company has adopted tougher policies in 2015.
Google’s vice presidents and senior vice presidents are bound to disclose any relationship with an employee. This is also followed even if they work in different departments.
Quite diplomatically, Pichai never addressed the issue of Andy Rubin directly but the content in the email is an indication towards creating an assurance that things have changed since he left.
Further, Pichai wrote that Google is ‘dead serious’ about creating a safe workspace. In his own words:
“We are dead serious about making sure we provide a safe and inclusive workplace. We want to assure you that we review every single complaint about sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct, we investigate and we take action.”
Though remaining highly diplomatic but Google certainly is putting forward some valid points in ensuring that they create a safe workplace for everyone. What are your thoughts about Google’s stance on sexual harassment?