As Google grapples with multiple lawsuits and a federal investigation into an alleged gender pay gap hurting female employees, an analysis of the company’s compensation shows it’s actually men who are earning less for similar work.
Google conducts an annual study to determine whether the company is underpaying women or minorities, and Lauren Barbato, lead analyst with People Analytics, said this year’s results revealed a “surprising trend that we didn’t expect.”
Using an algorithm that considers market rate for jobs, location, experience and performance, the company identified $9.7 million in adjustments for a total of 10,677 employees, most of them men, The New York Times reports.
The total number of Google employees is unknown, but Google’s parent company, Alphabet, employed nearly 100,000 workers at the end of 2018 and vast majority work for search engine site.
“Men account for about 69 percent of the company’s work force, but they received a higher percentage of the (adjustment) money,” the Times reports. “The exact number of men who got raises is unclear.”
Google’s 2017 pay analysis identified only about $270,000 in adjustments for 228 employees, and Barbato explained why those figures skyrocketed in blog post published Monday.
“There are a couple of reasons that the pay equity analysis required more adjustments in 2018, compared to 2017,” she wrote. “First, the 2018 analysis flagged one particularly large job code (Level 4 Software Engineer) for adjustments. Within this job code, men were flagged for adjustments because they received less discretionary funds than women. Secondly, this year we undertook a new hire analysis to look for any discrepancies in offers to new employees – this accounted for 49 percent of the totals spent on adjustments.”
The eye-opening results mean little to the company’s critics like Joelle Emerson, CEO of diversity consulting company Paradigm, who allege Google promotes a “flawed and incomplete sense of equity,” according to the Times.
Emerson alleges the $9.7 million Google is paying to level the field will only help to benefit white male engineers that already dominate the field and face fewer obstacles than women or minorities, according to Neonnettle.
The discrimination lawsuits filed against Google don’t necessarily allege the company pays women less for specific jobs, but rather the company hires women in at lower pay levels than men despite similar qualifications, the Times reports.
“While the pay bump is helpful, Google’s critics say it doesn’t come close to matching what a woman would make if she had been assigned to the appropriate pay grade in the first place,” according to the news site.
The issues of pay and gender have been a sore spot at Google for years as the company has worked to diversify its workforce, with some employees revolting against the move and others embracing the strategy. The internal culture war came to a boil last year when Google fired software engineer James Damore, who had criticized the diversity programs and alleged the real discrimination at Google is against white men with conservative views.