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67. Ex-Google Employee Shares Culture Perspective

by | Jan 24, 2022 | 0 comments

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The Culture of Things
The Culture of Things
67. Ex-Google Employee Shares Culture Perspective
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Taras Kobernyk is humble, professional, and articulate.  That’s what makes his intriguing situation and actions much more believable.  After being fired by Google for questioning some of their policies on diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism, Taras found it quite difficult to find another job.

When asked why he wrote his now-famous document “Questions about Google’s anti-racism actions,” he says he just wanted to start a conversation, just wanted to point out some contradictory, hypocritical behaviors and sentiments that Google leadership was pushing on its employees, particularly on software engineers like himself.  Google’s continued refusal (or inability) to address these points has not wavered since the document was released and began a very public media blitz on the subject.

Join me as we talk to Taras about his experiences– from his excitement about moving to the U.S. from Ukraine, getting hired by such a massive tech giant, and the subsequent disintegration of his time there, leading to his being fired for questioning Google leadership on some tough topics.

Discussion Points

  • Taras’ introduction/background
  • Getting hired by Google and finding out the internal downsides to his position
  • What did you see that made you write the document?
  • How did things go after writing it?
  • Can you detail the timeline from the writing of the initial document, through your firing?
  • Were you ever told your performance was subpar?
  • How would you respond to people who think you’re simply a disgruntled former employee?
  • What can you tell us about the Anti-Racist Allyship Starter Pack?
  • What was the response from the top management?
  • Is any of this helping the environment at Google?
  • Are you the ONLY Google employee to complain about these policies?
  • What were the “Citizenship Contributions” you were expected to perform as part of your job?
  • Are you concerned at all that these policies may affect the public, as Google has such a wide reach?
  • After you were fired, did Google make it difficult for you to find other work?
  • Why did you speak up?
  • If you were still at Google, what do you wish would have happened after sharing this document with leadership?
  • What part of this experience had the greatest impact on your ideas about leadership?
  • My main takeaways from this discussion with Taras Kobernyk

Resources

Link to Google Memo

Taras Kobernyk LinkedIn

The Anti-Racist Allyship Starter Pack

Robin DiAngelo – White Fragility Book 

Fox News Link

Brendan Rogers Website

Brendan Rogers LinkedIn

The Culture of Things Podcast Website

The Culture of Things LinkedIn

The Culture of Things Facebook Page

The Culture of Things YouTube Channel

The Culture of Things Instagram 

 

If you have any questions for Brendan around this episode or generally around culture, leadership, or teamwork, feel free to contact him here.

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