Organizers of the massive walkouts at Google last week are — rightfully so — not letting up on their demands. Earlier this morning, Google CEO Sundar Pichai responded to some of their demands, outlining how Google is getting rid of forced arbitration for sexual harassment and sexual assault claims, offering more transparency around those investigations and more.
While Google did make some changes, the company did not address all of the organizers’ demands. For example, Google failed to elevate its chief diversity officer to report directly to Pichai and also ignored the organizers’ request to add an employee representative to the board of directors.
In the Medium post today, the organizers commended Google’s process while also noting how Pichai’s response did not address many of the core demands. In the post, they write:
However, the response ignored several of the core demands — like elevating the diversity officer and employee representation on the board — and troublingly erased those focused on racism, discrimination, and the structural inequity built into the modern day Jim Crow class system that separates ‘full time’ employees from contract workers. Contract workers make up more than half of Google’s workforce, and perform essential roles across the company, but receive few of the benefits associated with tech company employment. They are also largely people of color, immigrants, and people from working class backgrounds.
“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,” Google employee and walkout organizer Demma Rodriguez said in the Medium post. “We are committed to making this happen, because true equity depends on it.”
The worldwide walkout of 20,000 Google employees and contractors came in response to a damning New York Times report regarding Google’s handling of sexual harassment investigations. Moving forward, the organizers say they will not let up on the demands “most urgent for women of color: an employee representative on the board, elevating the chief diversity officer, greater transparency on and an end to opportunity inequity at Google and beyond” and looks “forward to meeting with Google leadership in working to meet all of our demands.”
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