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 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)




Politics

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 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)

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

Second grader Genesis Ulloa leads students in an after-school community hub in a game at the Mission YMCA on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF parents face school year with hope, trepidation and concern

‘Honestly, I don’t know how I’m going to deal with it’

Health care workers in the intensive care unit at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, with Alejandro Balderas, a 44-year-old patient who later died. Even in California, a state with a coronavirus vaccination rate well above average, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has nearly doubled in the past two weeks, according to a New York Times database. (Isadora Kosofsky/The New York Times)
Why COVID took off in California, again

‘The good news is: The vaccines are working’

Lake Oroville stood at 33 percent full and 40 percent of historical average when this photograph was taken on Tuesday, June 29, 2021. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Tribune News Service)
A kayaker on the water at Lake Oroville, which stands at 33 percent full and 40 percent of historical average when this photograph was taken on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 in Oroville, Calif. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Tribune News Service)
Facing ‘dire water shortages,’ California bans Delta pumping

By Rachel Becker CalMatters In an aggressive move to address “immediate and… Continue reading

Most Read