Ex-Google activist Claire Stapleton starts advice newsletter

Former Google veteran Claire Stapleton staged a company-wide protest on Google Walkout for Change amid allegations of leadership misconduct. It has since become the voice of employees organizing across the industry.

Rebecca Greenfield

It’s been a year since Claire Stapleton left Google, claiming that she had been unjustly evicted. Now she is looking to get back to her Google beginnings by offering practical advice to technicians with an informal weekly newsletter called Tech Support.

Stapleton told CNBC that it was part of a kind of vocation. She wants to take what she learned during her 12 years at Google and use it to help tech workers with both mundane and existential questions. the first edition, which comes out on Friday, will focus on the topic of marketing employees who are struggling with the nature of their work on major technology platforms, she said. Another will be to manage bad managers.

Stapleton, a former Google YouTube employee, led a massive company-wide walkout in 2018 in response to a report in the New York Times that Google had paid severance pay of $ 90 million to former executive Andy Rubin, despite credible allegations of sexual misconduct while he was in the business. (Rubin denied any wrongdoing.) She left the company a year ago, alleging reprisals from business leaders, CNBC reported. The company has denied its claims.

Since then, Google employees past and present have cited it, along with Google’s walkout, as examples of employee activism and the role of management in changing its culture. It has also drawn attention beyond Silicon Valley to tests describing his experience to the tech giant.

The bulletin comes as tensions between employers and their workers have caused internal conflicts in tech companies – including Google.

Stapleton said it started technical support due to a multitude of questions it had received from Google and non-Google employees since leaving the company last June.

“After the walkout, I was constantly receiving messages from Googlers and it was so strange. I had a lot of coffee and socializing. I was like ‘what are you looking for?’ It turned out that a lot of the problems could come down to bad managers and toxic environments. “

She also said that because of the economic impact of Covid-19, she knew people couldn’t just quit smoking. “People are not going to resign at the moment,” she said. “There is a motivation to solve their problems and solve them mentally. I think there is room to offer really practical advice.”

Former Google employee Claire Stapleton, who organized Google Walkout, returns to the industry to offer advice to technicians through a new newsletter called Tech Support.

Creation of the technical support newsletter by Shane Neufeld

She said that before and after leaving Google, employees often tried to explain management issues in technical terminology, but sometimes lacked the emotional empathy she hopes to provide in her newsletter. During her stay on YouTube, she met people who were having a hard time figuring out how their work had an impact, especially since the company was facing controversy and lawsuits, she said.

“People are trying to understand their role in these endeavors and they ask,” Should I just run away and join the Peace Corps? What does a meaningful professional life look like? “”, She said. “Googlers asked questions about fulfilling this dream they had – the death of Google’s dream is still in the air.”

Stapleton said it had also received questions from non-Google employees such as an Uber employee dealing with layoffs.

“I don’t have answers, really, but I have years of management and trauma experience to answer the questions,” she said. “I kinda want to” get back into the coach “. I feel called to try to contribute in one way or another.”

It’s also why she joined former Google Ventures chief Bill Maris in her new business, Section 32, along with a few other former Google employees.

“Working in section 32 with Google alumni reminds me of my many happy years at Google,” she said. “I’m trying to create this environment. It’s very dynamic and stimulating.”

Watch: Google employees come out to protest handling of sexual harassment allegations

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