Updated: Oct 18, 2021
Being a Black person working in white corporate spaces means even when you secure a seat at the table, sometimes people won’t believe it.
Angel Onuoha is an associate product manager for Google and took to Twitter to share details of the incident.
“Riding my bike around Google’s campus and somebody called security on me because they didn’t believe I was an employee,” wrote Onuoha on the social media platform. “Had to get escorted by two security guards to verify my ID badge.”
He also shared that the security took his ID badge away from him just two days following the incident.
“[Security] 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,” he continued. “And that was after holding me for 30 minutes, causing me to miss my bus ride home.”
After learning of the incident with Onuoha — who works at Google’s Mountain View, CA office, according to his LinkedIn — the search engine company shared that they “take this employee’s concerns very seriously” and have reached out to him about the situation. “We learned that the employee was having issues with his badge due to an administrative error and contacted the reception team for help,” a spokesperson told Forbes. “After they were unable to resolve the issue, the security team was called to look into and help resolve the issue.” Google also reiterated its stance on being a more inclusive company. “More broadly, one step we’ve taken recently to decrease badging incidents is to make clear that employees should leave investigating these kinds of access concerns to our security team,” the statement continued. “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.”
Insider reports that just last year, Black employees at Google spoke their truth about the company’s response to protests in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. They also shared that they’ve “never stopped feeling the burden of being Black at Google” with step-by-step instructions on how the company could do better.