The ability, or lack thereof, of Google when it comes to handling claims of sexual harassment within its organisation has been well documented in recent years, and has now come under the spotlight of its parent company – Alphabet.
This as CNBC reports that the Alphabet board is readying an investigation into the methods and procedures that Google has in place to handle sexual harassment claims, particularly when it comes to those made against executives.
According to CNBC, Alphabet will be taking a two-pronged approach to the investigation, with an internal subcommittee being formed, as well as an external law firm being brought in.
“As has already been confirmed in public court filings, in early 2019, Alphabet’s Board of Directors formed a special litigation committee to consider claims made by shareholders in various lawsuits relating to past workplace conduct,” explained an unnamed Alphabet spokesperson.
To that end it looks as if Alphabet will be looking into specific instances of sexual harassment or misconduct in recent years, which is something that Google itself has remained relatively mum on, with the notable exception being CEO Sundar Pichai acknowledging that the company has been lax in its duties, particularly as it applies to the treatment of LGBTQ+ employees.
At this stage it remains to be seen how long the investigation process will take, and apart from potentially drawing up new policies and procedures, it is unclear if any Google executives will be asked to step down as a result of the findings.
Either way it should be interesting to see what Alphabet uncovers, and whether this process leads to better handling of sexual harassment claims moving forward.