Google: 48 employees fired for sexual misconduct | News | DW | 25.10.2018
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Google: 48 employees fired for sexual misconduct

Google's CEO has said the company is taking a "hard line approach" in response. Sexual misconduct has become a major issue in Silicon Valley, with 65 percent of women saying they have reported unwanted advances.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Thursday said the company fired 48 employees over the past two years due to allegations of sexual misconduct. The employees included 13 senior executives, Pichai said in a statement.

"In recent years, we've made a number of changes, including taking an increasingly hard line on inappropriate conduct by people in positions of authority," Pichai said.

Google's announcement comes on the heels of a report by The New York Times  that Android creator Andy Rubin had received a severance package of $90 million (€79 million) after a Google employee accused him of sexual misconduct.

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But Pichai said that none of the 48 employees fired over the allegations had received "an exit package."

"We are dead serious about making 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," he added.

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'Unwanted advances'

Sexual misconduct in Silicon Valley and the larger tech scene has been a major issue for years.

About 90 percent of women in the industry have said they "witnessed sexist behavior at company offsites and/or conferences," according to a survey project called Elephant in the Valley.

The survey also found that 65 percent of women who reported "unwanted sexual advances had received advances from a superior, with half receiving advances more than once."

Read more: One year of #MeToo: A timeline of events

While tech companies, including Google, have said they are doing their best to punish sexual harassment in the workplace, women in the industry believe it's not enough.

Project Include, an advocacy group led by former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao, has highlighted several ways to "accelerate diversity and inclusion solutions in the tech industry," including establishing a code of conduct and building transparency into company culture.

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ls/amp (AFP, Reuters)

Each evening at 1830 UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.

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