Progressives often espouse the idea that women, in general, are paid less than their male counterparts in the corporate world.
But a new internal review recently completed by Google discovered that many men — not women — were due compensation adjustments because their female counterparts were being paid more for similar work.
What are the details?
Lauren Barbato, Google's lead analyst for pay equality, announced on Google's company blog Monday that Google's annual pay equity analysis revealed that among Level 4 software engineers — "a particularly large category in the company," according to Gizmodo — men received less pay than women.
In response, Google initiated $9.7 million in compensation adjustments among 10,677 "Googlers," 49 percent of which were for new employees, Barbato said.
"Compensation should be based on what you do, not who you are," Barbato said. "Our pay equity analysis ensures that compensation is fair for employees in the same job, at the same level, location and performance."
What is Google doing to fix the problem?
Even though completing an annual pay equity review is now standard company procedure, Barbato said Google is initiating a "comprehensive review" of its compensation practices to further alleviate future discrepancies. She said probing the company's leveling — the human resources process that determines the pay grade new employees are assigned — is the first step of the review.
Google sets pay using an algorithm that considers a number of factors including job, location, and performance. The annual pay review searches for "statistically significant discrepancies in any job groups," and if one exists, then Google initiates upward adjustments across the job level.
What's the background?
Among technology giants, Google's compensation practices have come under intense scrutiny in recent years.
In 2017, the Department of Labor took action against the company after government investigators discovered women were systematically underpaid for work similar to men.
Meanwhile, Google has also faced several lawsuits for alleged gender pay discrimination, including a class-action lawsuit filed in 2017.