The Big Tech Way of Dealing with Harassment

David Drummond is the chief legal officer and senior vice president of corporate development for Google’s parent company, Alphabet. But rather than being known for these powerful titles, Drummond has been in the news for cheating on his wife with a former Google employee, Jennifer Blakely.

Blakely published a post on Medium in which she wrote about her relationship with Drummond, accusing him of emotional abuse directed at her and their son. In the aftermath of their relationship, she quit her job at Google and was abandoned by Drummond.

Google is notorious for its policies that regulate what is happening inside the company, even at the interpersonal level. Blakely worked initially as a paralegal in Drummond’s legal department. But given that interpersonal relationships among teams were disallowed by HR policy, Blakey was removed from the legal team and placed in sales, even though she had zero sales experience. Meanwhile, Drummond still works as one of Alphabet’s highest paid executives. He married another Googler two months ago and recently cashed out roughly $35 million in Google stock.

Blakely’s allegations are not the only insight into how Google treats workplace affairs. In 2018, thousands of Googlers protested the way the company deals with sexual harassment. The Andy Rubin scandal is still fresh; Google gave Rubin $90 million when he was leaving the company for his alleged sexual harassment, even though he could have been fired without compensation.

Blakely stated Google’s policy and culture protects elite executive men while oppressing women. On November 6, Alphabet’s board decided to initiate an investigation on sexual harassment allegations concerning Google. In addition to this, Google began to amend some of its policies. But Google still declines to publicly comment about workplace affairs that have become public. Thus, it seems like the real change may not be in policy, but rather in the mindset of decision makers of Google.

The Big Tech Way of Dealing with Harassment