Dispute emails :Google establishes guidelines for HQ guest speakers.
California’s OAKLAND, After canceling a talk by an Indian historian who had disparaged marginalized groups and their concerns, Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL.O) Google this week introduced guidelines for inviting visitors to its offices, according to internal emails obtained . Emails : Google establishes guidelines for HQ guest speakers.
The policy that Google unveiled on Thursday represents its most recent attempt to uphold an open culture while addressing divisions that have grown as its workforce has expanded.
Additionally, union organizing campaigns are underway at Alphabet, Apple Inc (AAPL.O), and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), with demands that the businesses embrace progressive practices.
The Google speaker policies, state that certain talks pose a risk to the company’s reputation. They also instruct employees to “consider whether there is a business reason for hosting the speaker and if the event directly supports our company goals.”
According to Google spokesman Ryan Lamont, “We’ve always been proud to host external speakers at Google, as they provide great opportunities for learning and connection for our employees.”
The policy, according to an email presenting it to managers, explains and unifies a jumble of regulations.
The open, university-like ethos that Google has valued since its founding is threatened by increased scrutiny. However, a more welcoming workplace may draw a more varied staff, which might help Google create goods with a wider market.
Google recently reduced the frequency of company-wide meetings and tightened content control on workplace message boards as a result of internal conflicts that leaked into the public eye. Emails : Google establishes guidelines for HQ guest speakers.
Competitors like Meta Platforms Inc (META.O) have speaker invitation rules as well.
Retired U.S. presidential contender Barack Obama, famous chef Ayesha Curry, and former basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have all spoken at Google.
Thenmozhi Soundararajan, an author who fights for those who are oppressed by caste discrimination, was scheduled to speak about India’s socioreligious caste system in April, but Google decided to postpone the event due to internal strife.
Members of a Hindu group inside the organization had complained about Soundararajan, calling her comments provocative and prejudiced, which is what she describes the accusation. Emails : Google establishes guidelines for HQ guest speakers.
An internal letter said that at least one of the critics recommended summoning Rajiv Malhotra for balance. The self-described contrarian author Malhotra, a former computer entrepreneur, has called campaigners like Soundararajan “snakes” and denounced affirmative action programs that support lower caste groups.
According to a notice asking for complaints regarding Malhotra, some employees protested to high management. In a related paper, the Alphabet Workers Union, a labor group that has been urging Google to include caste in its anti-discrimination policy, observed that Malhotra had referred to Islam as a destructive force and homosexuality as a medical issue.
Employee messages suggested that allowing his speak but rejecting Soundararajan’s would have amounted to a double standard.
Employees “must submit a proposal and have it authorized” by a “cross-functional” review panel, according to the new speaker policy.