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Women Earn Less Than Men at Google, According to Employee-Gathered Data

Topics: Data & Research
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Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Labor sued Google to obtain salary data as part of what it described as a routine compliance evaluation. (Federal contractors like Google are required to prove that they pay men and women equitably.) Later, a DOL representative testified in court that the company suffered from “systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce.”

Google refuted the claims, telling TechCrunch, “Every year, we do a comprehensive and robust analysis of pay across genders and we have found no gender pay gap.”

On Friday, The New York Times reported on an internal spreadsheet, created by employees, which aims to track worker salaries. The spreadsheet, which contains data from around 1,200 U.S. Google employees (about 2 percent of Google’s total workforce), tracks salaries and bonus information — and shows major pay disparities in most job levels.

Per The Times:

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The spreadsheet covers levels one through six of Google’s job hierarchy, from entry-level data center workers at level one to managers and experienced engineers at level six. It does not include company executives and top-level engineers, who receive a wider range of salaries.

At five of the six job levels, women are paid less than men. At level three, the entry level for technical positions, women make 4 percent less than men at $124,000 in salary and bonus. But it widens to 6 percent by the time employees reach midcareer status, around level five, with women earning, on average, $11,000 less than men.

Google’s Response

Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano called the analysis “extremely flawed.” In a statement to Business Insider, she said:

The analysis in this story is extremely flawed, as it features an extremely small sample size, and doesn’t include location, role, tenure or performance. This means that the story is comparing the compensation of, for example, a high-performing Level 5 engineer in the Bay Area with a low-performing Level 5 non-technical employee working in a different location. It doesn’t make sense to compare the compensation of these two people. We do rigorous compensation analyses and when you compare like-for-like, women are paid 99.7% of what men are paid at Google.

PayScale’s report, Inside the Gender Pay Gap, shows that the tech industry has a gender pay gap of 0.8 percent, the second-smallest of any industry — provided you look at the controlled data, which compares only men and women in the same jobs, with the same level of education and experience.

The much-higher uncontrolled gender pay gap of 17.7 percent is attributable to the fact that men are still much more likely than women to hold higher paying technical roles and to be promoted to management.

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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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