200 Google workers will walk out on Thursday over sexual misconduct handling

The "Women's Walk" (as Google has named it) will occur in response to how the company handled sexual misconduct claims against one of its executives.

  • 48 people have been terminated from Google for sexual misconduct in the last two years.
  • 13 of those were senior management.
  • The highest-level senior manager manager accused—creator of the Android OS Andy Rubin—is the only one who received a $90-million "golden parachute".

Google has a bit of a PR problem on its hands. The exit of Android creator Andy Rubin in 2014 was accompanied by talk of his many relationships with other Google staffers, as well as the verified sexual misconduct incident that caused his removal. Google kept quiet about the misconduct, struck a $90-million exit deal with Rubin, and invested heavily in his next venture, The New York Times reports.

Google's co-founder Larry Page released a public statement at the time of Rubin's departure: "I want to wish Andy all the best with what's next. With Android he created something truly remarkable—with a billion-plus happy users."

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Andy Rubin, creator of the Android OS, has been accused of verified sexual misconduct.

Rubin is one of three Google execs who were made to leave the company after sexual misconduct cases were brought forward.

(Photo credit YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)

Japan's electronics giant Sony senior vice president Kunimasa Suzuki (L) shakes hands with Google's senior vice president Andy Rubin (R) as they unveil the company's new tablet PC 'S1' and 'S2', based on Google's Android OS in Tokyo on April 26, 2011.

For its part, Google has responded to the publicity over the event, and it will likely continue to do so until the crisis blows over.

"Today's story in the New York Times was difficult to read," they wrote. "We are dead serious about making sure we provide a safe and inclusive workplace. We want to assure you that we review every single complaint about sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct, we investigate and we take action."

(Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for Wired)

Founder and CEO of Essential Products Andy Rubin speaks onstage at WIRED Business Conference presented by Visa at Spring Studios on June 7, 2017 in New York City.

Still, in a quote from an article in Buzzfeed news, the pushback—and the impetus for the walkout—is palpable. "Personally, I'm furious," said one Google employee who requested anonymity. "I feel like there's a pattern of powerful men getting away with awful behavior towards women at Google‚ or if they don't get away with it, they get a slap on the wrist, or they get sent away with a golden parachute, like Andy Rubin. And it's a leadership of mostly men making the decisions about what kind of consequences to give, or not give."

The engineers who are planning the Thursday walkout are in various locations around the country.

(Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Billionaire warlords: Why the future is medieval

The world's next superpower might just resurrect the Middle Ages.

Videos
  • Russia? China? No. The rising world superpower is the billionaire class. Our problem, says Sean McFate, is that we're still thinking in nation states.
  • Nation states have only existed for the last 300-400 years. Before that, wealthy groups – tribes, empires, aristocracies, etc – employed mercenaries to wage private wars.
  • As wealth inequality reaches combustion point, we could land back in the status quo ante of the Middle Ages. Who will our overlords be? Any or all of the 26 ultra-rich billionaires who own as much as the world's 3.8 billion poorest. What about Fortune 500, which is more powerful than most of the states in the world? Random billionaires, multinational corporations, and the extractive industry may buy armies and wage war on their own terms.
Keep reading Show less

Golden blood: the rarest blood in the world

We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.

Abid Katib/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
  • Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
  • It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
Keep reading Show less

5 of the worst keto diet side effects

The keto diet can help with weight loss, but at what cost?

Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • In addition to weight loss, there are a few well-known side effects of the keto diet, some of which can be unpleasant.
  • Some side effects of the keto diet are bound to occur, though others only happen when the diet is implemented poorly.
  • The keto diet doesn't have to lead to a host of negative side effects, but anyone considering undertaking the diet over the long term should be especially careful.
Keep reading Show less