Over the past two weeks, Google has been grappling with its poor handling of sexual misconduct cases, especially involving senior executives. Following last week’s Google Walkout, management promised changes and today CEO Sundar Pichai announced them in full.
He starts the internal email by apologizing again to Googlers, while nothing how company leadership over the past few weeks have heard feedback “and have been moved by the stories you’ve shared.”
We recognize that we have not always gotten everything right in the past and we are sincerely sorry for that. It’s clear we need to make some changes.
In the future, Google will be more transparent about handling concerns, and providing support to people who raise issues in the workplace. While the full list of changes appears to only be available for employees, a summary that directly responds to the list of changes asked for by organizers was provided.
- We will make arbitration optional for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims. Google has never required confidentiality in the arbitration process and arbitration still may be the best path for a number of reasons (e.g. personal privacy) but, we recognize that choice should be up to you.
Arbitration is now optional in response to the first demand by organizers to end “Forced Arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination.”
- We will provide more granularity around sexual harassment investigations and outcomes at the company as part of our Investigations Report.
Google is providing “more granularity” in reporting about sexual harassment investigations and the resulting outcomes, but does not appear to be “publicly disclos[ing] sexual harassment transparency report” as asked.
- We’re revamping the way we handle and look into your concerns in three ways: We’re overhauling our reporting channels by bringing them together on one dedicated site and including live support. We will enhance the processes we use to handle concerns—including the ability for Googlers to be accompanied by a support person. And we will offer extra care and resources for Googlers during and after the process. This includes extended counseling and career support,
Meanwhile, Google is “overhauling” how cases are reported with one dedicated site that features live support, while “extended counseling and career support” will be provided after. This is in response to the demand for “A clear, uniform, globally inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously.”
- We will update and expand our mandatory sexual harassment training. From now on if you don’t complete your training, you’ll receive a one-rating dock in Perf (editor’s note: Perf is our performance review system).
Google is expanding mandatory sexual harassment training and penalizing employees that do not complete it in the company’s internal performance review system.
- We will recommit to our company-wide OKR around diversity, equity and inclusion again in 2019, focused on improving representation—through hiring, progression and retention—and creating a more inclusive culture for everyone. Our Chief Diversity Officer will continue to provide monthly progress updates to me and my leadership team.
The last two goals of Googlers last week was to “end pay and opportunity inequity” and elevate the Chief Diversity Officer and to make “recommendations directly to the Board of Directors.” The former is being dealt with a commitment to company goals on diversity, equality and inclusion, while the CDO will continue to make monthly updates to management.