In a now-viral tweet shared earlier this week, a Black associate product manager at Google said he was stopped by company security because someone didn’t believe he belonged there.
Angel Onuoha, a graduate of Harvard University and co-founder of Black-run hedge fund, BLK Capital Management, tweeted on Monday (September 30), “Riding my bike around Google’s campus and somebody called security on me because they didn’t believe I was an employee. Had to get escorted by two security guards to verify my ID badge.”
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On Wednesday (September 22), he sent out a follow-up tweet:
“A lot of people keep DM’ing me asking for the full story…They ended up taking my ID badge away from me later that day and I was told to call security if I had a problem with it. And that was after holding me up for 30 minutes causing me to miss my bus ride home.”
A spokesperson for Google gave a statement to Forbes saying:
“We take this employee’s concerns very seriously, are in touch with him and are looking into this. We learned that the employee was having issues with his badge due to an administrative error and contacted the reception team for help. After they were unable to resolve the issue, the security team was called to look into and help resolve the issue.”
A former Google security guard, Albert Richardson, replied to Anuoha’s tweet, describing his own peculiar experience when he had security called on himself while on duty.
“I was on lunch in one of the micro kitchens. My radio goes off like ‘Hey Al when you get off of lunch can you head over to the second-floor micro kitchen. A Googler just reported a suspicious individual in that area.’ I spent an hour looking for myself.”
Anuoha and Richardson’s stories draw a parallel to a Google employee who was physically blocked from entering the San Francisco Google office. Leslie Miley said a Google employee jumped in front of him and demanded to see his work badge.
The statement provided by the Google spokesperson further stated, “to decrease badging incidents is to make clear that employees should leave investigating these kinds of access concerns to our security team. Our goal is to ensure that every employee experiences Google as an inclusive workplace and that we create a stronger sense of belonging for all employees.”
According to Google’s most recent Diversity, Equity and Inclusion report, only 4.4% of their U.S. workforce self-identify as Black with only 3% in leadership positions and 1.3% of those leadership positions held by Black women.
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