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Google's internal pay audit showed men being paid less than women for similar roles



Since the past few years, Google has been at the centre of controversy for gender equity at its workplace. Back in 2017, the tech giant was sued by a group of women who filed a lawsuit against Google accusing it of discriminating against female employees by underpaying them. But in a surprising contrast, Google’s latest study found that the men are being paid less than women working in similar roles in 2018.


Representational image.

Representational image.



The study which was conducted to determine whether the company was underpaying women and members of minority groups than men found the case to be otherwise. Google in its own internal pay audit observed that Level 4 Software Engineers who identified as men received less money than women in that same role.


In response to the study, Google compensated 10,677 employees an extra $9.7 million to offset the underpaid wages, the company wrote in its blog post. However, Google didn’t clearly mention what percentage of those employees who received pay adjustments were men.


The company in 2017 increased compensation for 228 employees that it found underpaid and spend a total of about $2,70,000 to narrow the wage gap.


Google cited its ‘new-hire analysis’ one of the important reason as to why the company had to make more adjustments. The new hire analysis that looked for pay discrepancies in offers to new hires accounted for 49 percent of the total spent on pay adjustment.


In 2018 analysis, Google found that in one group of lower-level software engineers men “received less discretionary funds than women.”


“Our pay equity analysis ensures that compensation is fair for employees in the same job, at the same level, location and performance. But we know that’s only part of the story. Because levelling, performance ratings, and promotion impact pay, this year, we are undertaking a comprehensive review of these processes to make sure the outcomes are fair and equitable for all employees,” Google’s lead analyst for pay equity and people analytics mentioned in the blog post.


Further, the lead analyst outlining the methodology explained that Google runs a statistical analysis to “look for unexplained differences in total compensation (salary, bonus, and equity) across demographic groups.” The analysis included 91 percent of Google employees and it examined every job group with a minimum of 30 employees and at least five per demographic group.


While Google is reportedly trying to address the issue of inappropriate pay grades, critics as per reports noted that it doesn’t come close to matching what a female employee would make if she was assigned the ‘appropriate pay grade’ in the first place.


As mentioned earlier, Google has been facing multiple gender pay accusations over the past few years. In 2017, the company grappled with the Labor Department over ‘pay gap data’ and it is still battling a class-action pay discrimination lawsuit over wages.


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