Google pays women less than men? New evidence suggests answer may be yes

Google pays women less than men? New evidence suggests answer may be yes

By Ethan Baron September 8, 2017 at 5:09 PM

Google has been fighting federal authorities in court to limit the amount of salary information and other data it must provide in an investigation into alleged “extreme” gender discrimination in pay at the company.

But now a leading news outlet has published data it says came straight from employees. And the numbers tend to back up Bureau of Labor claims of a major gender gap in compensation at the Mountain View tech titan.

“Female employees are paid less than male staff members at most job levels within Google, and the pay disparity extends as women climb the corporate ladder,” the New York Times reported Sept. 8.

And it’s not just salaries that are lower for women, according to the report: men’s bonuses also tended to be significantly higher.

Google disputed the accuracy of the data in describing pay at the firm.

The Times said it had acquired a spreadsheet showing compensation for some 1,200 U.S. Google employees.

Data showed a pronounced pay gap at the lowest level of compensation, with women making $40,300 to men’s $55,900. Women received higher pay at the next level up, receiving $76,500 to men’s $71,200. But for the rest of the pay levels, men outstripped women, all the way up to the top, where they received $197,600 to women’s $193,200.

Men received higher bonuses at four of six salary levels, from $6,900 to women’s $3,600 at the lowest level, to $47,800 to women’s $40,700 at the highest.

The data did not include information on executives and high-level engineers, according to the Times.

A former employee had started gathering the data in 2015 to help colleagues negotiate better salaries, the paper reported.

“The salary information in the spreadsheet cannot be viewed as an exact portrait of what people make at the company, because some employees may have erred when they put in their information,” according to the Times.

“At some job levels, only a handful of employees volunteered to share their salary information, so a few salaries can skew the data.”

The company told the paper that the data — which covered about 2 percent of the firm’s world-wide workforce — didn’t provide an accurate picture of pay at the firm.

“Google said the spreadsheet’s information does not take into account a number of factors, like where employees are based, whether they are in higher-paying technical positions, and job performance,” the Times reported.

Google told the paper that its own analysis — which included location, tenure, job role, level and performance — showed women made 99.7 cents for every dollar a man makes, a statistically negligible difference.


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