Tech sexual misconduct

Big Tech's moral compass remains glitchy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More than 2 years after Susan Fowler's account of sexual harassment at Uber kicked off a wave of reckoning inside tech companies, the industry is still more reactive than forward-looking in handling the ethical issues raised by sexual misconduct.

Why it matters: By waiting for media exposure before taking principled action against sexual harassment and related misdeeds, some tech leaders are still sending a message of "get away with it as long as you can" rather than "do what's right."

Google walkout leaders claim they have faced company retribution

In this image, a large crowd of people walk towards a Google office during a walkout protest
Google employees protest the company's handling of sexual misconduct claims in November 2018. Photo: Mason Trinca/Getty Images

Two leaders of the 2018 employee walkout at Google over sexual harassment claims say they have faced retaliation for their activism, a charge Google is denying.

What's happening: According to Wired, Meredith Whittaker was told that her role would be "changed dramatically" following uproar around a since-disbanded external AI ethics board. Whittaker, who leads Google's open research efforts, also helps run the AI Now Institute, which she co-founded at NYU.