- Google employees uncovered salary figures showing that women at the company are being paid less than men, says The New York Times, citing data the employees compiled on a spreadsheet it obtained. The figures also show that women are paid less at nearly all job levels, and that the pay gap follows women as they move up in their careers.
- The spreadsheet has 2017 salary and bonus information, which the employees shared with 1,200 U.S. Google workers. Pay disparities are greatest at the mid-job level, and men generally receive higher bonuses than women.
- Google officials told the Times that the salary data omits factors that account for pay differences, such as job role, tenure, location and performance. Meanwhile, the Labor Department is examining Google's pay practices.
The 2017 U.S. State of Salary Report ranks computer science as the highest paying field of study. But that might not be the case for women in the tech industry. Young women in the industry earn 29% less than men, according to a Comparably study. An ADP study shows that women make 28% less than men even in variable pay, such as bonuses — adding doubt to the veracity of Google's explanation of the spreadsheet data.
Pay inequality is based in deep-rooted issues seen in almost every industry. Many companies base salary off an employee's past pay rates, which can entrench old biases, especially for women and minorities who tend to be paid less overall due to a number of factors (bias, leaving the workforce for caregiving duties, etc.).
States and cities are beginning to pass laws banning employers from asking about pay history during the recruitment process. But recent studies show that women are also paid less even if they aren't asked about their salary history — a no-win situation for women that exemplifies the many issues plaguing pay equity.
Gender-based pay disparities transcend industries, but the wide and persistent gaps in tech firms is particularly unacceptable. Quantifiable data can uncover managers' biases in how much people are paid. Employers can access the technology — especially in the tech industry — to detect and correct the attitudes and decisions that allow pay disparities to fester.