Google employees hold signs at a rally at Harry Bridges Plaza to protest the company's treatment of women and handling of sexual harassment scandals on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Hundreds of Googlers stage walkout to protest sexual harassment

Hundreds of Google employees walked off the job in San Francisco this morning to protest the company’s handling of sexual harassment and discrimination complaints.

The walkout and march to the Embarcadero across from the Ferry Building was part of a worldwide, coordinated campaign organized in response to a New York Times story that ran last week highlighting a history of sexual harassment and discrimination at Google. In each time zone, Googlers staged a walked out at 11:10 a.m. local time.

Cathay Bi, one of the organizers, said she has personally experienced sexual harassment at Google and was not surprised by the New York Times article, but has decided not to share her own story.

Google employee Jennifer Brown carries a sign during a walkout to protest the company’s treatment of women and handling of sexual harassment scandals on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

“I did not feel safe talking about it,” she said. “That feeling of not being safe is why I’m out here today. I would love it if everyone felt safe talking about the experiences that happen to them.”

That fear has remained with her, she said.

“There were many times over the last 24 hours when I was going to email the group and say I’m not going to do this, because I’m scared,” she said. “I said to myself last night, I hope I still have a career in Silicon Valley after this, and I hope that whoever I work with won’t take it out against me.”

Google employees hold signs at a rally at Harry Bridges Plaza to protest the company’s treatment of women and handling of sexual harassment scandals on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Protesters carried signs reading “Worker Rights are Women’s Rights,” “I Reported And He Got Promoted,” and “Don’t Be Evil” – referring to a motto the company used to describe its code of conduct in the early 2000s, when it was still privately held, experiencing rapid growth, and quickly taking over the search industry.

Bi said she knows that systemic change takes time and doesn’t expect to see improvements immediately.

“I think if we were to expect them to happen overnight we would really not have the right expectations of how these movements take place,” she said.

Google employees hold signs at a rally at Harry Bridges Plaza to protest the company’s treatment of women and handling of sexual harassment scandals on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

 

Picture 1 of 15

Google employees gather in a courtyard at 345 Spear Street before a walkout to protest the tech company's treatment of women and handling of sexual harassment scandals on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)




If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

 

Google employees hold signs at a rally at Harry Bridges Plaza to protest the company's treatment of women and handling of sexual harassment scandals on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Google employee Jennifer Brown carries a sign during a walkout to protest the company's treatment of women and handling of sexual harassment scandals on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Google employee Jennifer Brown carries a sign during a walkout to protest the company's treatment of women and handling of sexual harassment scandals on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Just Posted

Big name officials crowd race for tiny Democratic Party board

The San Francisco Democratic Party campaign clown car is rollin’ once again.… Continue reading

Legal challenge halts SFPD jurisdiction over dog attacks on federal land

Dog owners beware — canine attacks are now consequence-free on federal land… Continue reading

New drug court hearing for man who ate cookie without permission

The San Francisco Public Defender’s Office will ask the San Francisco Superior… Continue reading

49ers battle with the Saints lives up to its billing

Kittle’s 39-yard catch-and-run had placed San Francisco in prime position for a game-winning field goal as the 49ers trailed 46-45

SF police shoot burglary suspect in Mission District

Man allegedly attacked officers before being shot in first on-duty SFPD shooting since June 2018

Most Read