Google comes under fire for 'paying women less than men' - again

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Susan Devaney
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Google is under fire for reportedly paying women less than men – again.

An internal report conducted by around 1,200 Google employees in the United States shows that women make less money than male employees in almost all job categories.

But the company insists that the analysis is "extremely flawed". The spreadsheet, obtained by the New York Times, contains salary and bonus information for 2017 for about two percent of the company’s global work force.

Covering entry-level data centre workers at level one to managers and experienced engineers at level six, the spreadsheet ranges between six of Google’s hierarchical positions. However, it doesn’t include company executives and top-level engineers.

According to the report out of five of the six job levels, women are paid less than men. For example, at level one (data centre workers) men earn around $15,000 (£11,400) more than their female counterparts.

Only at level two do women earn more than men, with $76,000 (£57,500) to $71,200 (£53,900). However, men’s bonuses are higher:  $7,900 (£6,000) to $12,100 (£9,200), respectively.

At level three, the entry level for technical positions, women make 4% less than men at $124,000 (£93,900) when their salary and bonus are combined.

In terms of bonuses, men take home more than women. For example, at a level one position a woman receives a bonus of $3,600 (£2,700) but a man earns $6,900 (£5,200). That’s nearly double that of a woman’s bonus.

According to the NYT, the spreadsheet was started in 2015 by a former employee who wanted to assist co-workers in negotiating better salaries.

The tech giant is now claiming the report is an unfair representation of the company’s salary structure.

"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,” Gina Scigliano from Google said in a statement to

“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."

But this isn’t the first time the company has faced allegations of sexism. Back in April this year the US Department of Labour accused the company of underpaying women. Google came back claiming they couldn’t provide more data because it would cost $100,000 (£76,000) and 500 hours of labour. 

And only last month a Google employee who wrote a vitriolic internal memo criticising the company’s diversity policies was fired.

The incendiary note, written by former Google engineer James Damore, went viral. Over 10 pages, Damore accused the tech company of ignoring the views and values of its conservative employees, and suggested that the lack of women in technology and leadership positions could be attributed to biological differences.

He also argued that Google was engaging in “discriminatory practices” by trying to “achieve a more equal gender and race representation”, and called for less empathy in the workplace.

In an email, he said that he had been fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes”.

Images: Getty