With the press coverage across the year surrounding the social media movement #MeToo, which has been an ongoing platform for women who have experienced sexual violence to speak out, the grounds to get away with unwanted attention is, thankfully, waning. Perhaps this is why Google has been accused of trying to cover up a sexual misconduct scandal in the company.
Branded “the father of Android” for paving the way for Google to enter the mobile market, well-respected Andy Rubin was originally reported to have left the company to focus on startups interested in building hardware back in 2014. However, it has now emerged that Rubin’s exit from the company isn’t as innocent as it initially seemed. The New York Times has reported that Google didn’t publicly disclose the reasons why Rubin left the company, despite knowing he had been accused of coercing a woman into performing oral sex in 2013.
Instead of firing Rubin and leaving him without remuneration, he was given $90m in pay outs over a four-year period – the last of which is in November 2018. It has since come to light that Rubin is not alone in his behaviour, with staggering figures of over 48 Google workers, including 13 managers, have been sacked because of sexual misconduct.
Denying the claims even though the woman making the allegation against him was found to be credible during Google’s investigation, which prompted company co-founder Larry Page to request his resignation, Rubin maintains his innocence. In a statement, he has said: “Specifically, I never coerced a woman to have sex in a hotel room. These false allegations are part of a smear campaign by my ex-wife to disparage me during a divorce and custody battle.”
Clearly, the scandal surrounding this story isn’t finished. With increasing accounts of sexual assault emerging from all societal sectors, it’s apparent that there’s still a lot of work to do with managing such allegations – although it’s doubtful that Google’s example will be followed.