San Francisco: Google CEO Sundar Pichai has said the company has worked out a new comprehensive policy to address diversity and sexual harassment that became a great concern of Google employees.In an email to Google workers, Pichai on Thursday admitted that Google has "not always gotten everything right in the past", for which he felt "sincerely" sorry and vowed to make some changes, Xinhua news agency reported.
On Thursday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai - who was publicly supportive of the walkout, likely because reacting any other way would be a bad PR look for an already tarnished organization - announced that the company has updated its sexual harassment policies.
Other commitments which Google has agreed to include the provision of regular, detailed reports about the occurrence of harassment claims and whether they led to the dismissal of staff members involved, and the publication of an internal guide on the investigation processes of harassment cases in the company and others.
The email also outlines other changes to improve company culture, like mandatory annual training about sexual harassment (previous training was once every two years) and creating a "specialty team of advisors" to look into issues of harassment or discrimination.
"Harassment is never acceptable and alcohol is never an excuse", Mr Pichai wrote. As though the basic logic that you shouldn't black out and harass or assault your coworkers shouldn't be enough to keep Google employees from doing so. A New York Times report spurred the protests after it revealed that Google gave a $90-million exit package to a top executive in 2014 after he was accused of sexual harassment.
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Noting that in 20 per cent of harassment reports, the perpetrator had been drinking alcohol, the company says it expects corporate leaders - directors, VPs, and SVPs - to take steps to limit excessive drinking during company-related activities.
Most impactful will be a shift away from forced arbitration, a highly-criticised practice that meant employees were contractually-bound to deal with complaints internally, in what some legal observers have described as being a "private justice system".
In a statement organizers commended Google for the response, but said more changes are needed. "It's clear we need to make some changes", Pichai stated in his emailed memo.
Google is overhauling its reporting channels by bringing them together on one dedicated site and including live support, he informed.
And a specialist team will be set up to investigate sexual harassment and discrimination cases.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.