While the Obama admin showed little interest in Google monopolizing search traffic and rigging the algorithms to favor its own products and services, it was obsessed with the idea that the company was sexist and underpaying women.
Now the results are in. And the Labor Dept has egg on its face.
In an effort to address wage equity among women and members of minority groups, Google studied its own practices as it does every year. But the results showed the company was underpaying more men than women for doing similar jobs.
Google compensated 10,677 employees an extra $9.7 million to offset the underpaid wages found in the study, the company wrote in a blog post, though it’s unclear what percentage of those recipients were men. In 2017, Google said it increased compensation for 228 employees it found were underpaid, spending a total of about $270,000.
Google’s 2018 analysis found that in one group of lower-level software engineers men “received less discretionary funds than women,” according to the post authored by Google’s lead analyst for pay equity and people analytics Lauren Barbato. Nearly half of the adjustment fund was spent on discrepancies in offers to new hires, Barbato wrote, which was the result of a new hire analysis Google conducted in the 2018 study.
Here’s what the specifics from Google say.
There are a couple of reasons that the pay equity analysis required more adjustments in 2018, compared to 2017. 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 total dollars spent on adjustments.
The results aren’t surprising because this is how affirmative action works. Employees that fit a quota are aggressively recruited for certain low level and high level roles, and generally overpaid for those jobs.
Google engineers start at Level 3.