The walkout at Google's Fremont offices were part of a companywide protest at offices from Tokyo and Singapore to London and NY, reflecting a growing #MeToo-style backlash among women against frat-house misbehavior in heavily male-dominated Silicon Valley. Among their demands: that the company put an end to forced arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination, commit to end pay and opportunity inequality, publicly disclose a sexual harassment transparency report, outline a clear, uniform and anonymous process for sexual misconduct reporting, and elevate the chief diversity officer so that person answers directly to the CEO and board.
The New York Times reported that company management was aware on Wednesday the walkouts were coming and employees would "have the support they need if they wish to participate".
Staff in Google's Dublin office began the walkout at around 11 a.m. GMT.
A Google spokesman in Singapore said he couldn't provide details on how many people took part in the walkouts at offices in that city or Tokyo, which each have more than 1,000 employees.
Over a thousand people appear to have joined the Google workers' walkout in NY.
More than 1,500 workers, a lot of them women, plan to join the walkout, according to The New York Times."Google's famous for its culture". In addition, appoint and employee representative to the board.
Google chief executive Sudar Pichai said the company has made a number of changes "including taking an increasingly hard line on appropriate conduct by people in positions of authority". "I understand the anger and disappointment that many of you feel", Pichai wrote.
The Business Insider reporter Shona Ghosh was at Google's St Giles Street offices in London.
In a separate email sent late in October, Pichai and Eileen Naughten, the executive in charge of personnel issues, attempted to reassure staff that the company had improved its response to sexual misconduct in the four years since Rubin's departure. Many employees outside Google's NY offices cited job security in refusing to talk.
I stand w/hundreds of #Google engineers planning the women's walkout in protest of the $90M exit package gifted to Andy Rubin after Google found allegations of his sexual misconduct to be credible.
In the past year, Google employees have spoken out strongly against the company's work with the US Department of Defense, as well as plans to re-enter the Chinese market with a search product.
But it was revealed by the Times that Google executives asked for Rubin's resignation after an employee accused Rubin of sexual misconduct, specifically that he coerced the female employee to perform oral sex.