Google is being sued for paying female employees less than their male counterparts

Former female Googlers have filed a lawsuit against the search giant

Google, which has been in the hot seat already this year when it was sued for compensation data, finds itself with another lawsuit dealing with employee compensation, or rather the lack of compensation and opportunities provided for the women it employes.

Former employees at Google recently filed a lawsuit against the company on the basis of gender inequality and discrimination. The plaintiffs, Kelly Ellis, Holly Pease, and Kelli Wisuri suggest that Google systematically keeps women in lower compensation levels than men with equal or lesser skills and education even though they do similar work.

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Due to the extensive records that Google is required to keep regarding pay, job classifications, and other employment records, the plaintiffs hold that although it currently does nothing to fix the situation, the company should be well aware the discrimination occurring.

For example, Ellis, who had four years of previous experience, was hired as a software engineer at a Level 3 job position, a level at which Google typically hires recent college graduates. Meanwhile, a man who was hired at a similar time with similar experience, was hired at a Level 4 position.

Pease, who had worked for the company for several years, was kept on the lower "non-technical" ladder which holds less opportunity for promotions and less compensation than the "technical" ladder despite her multiple leadership positions and experience at managing those on the "technical ladder".

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Wisurui, who worked in sales, claims to have done similar work to male counterparts in the Sales ladder; however, she was kept in the lower Sales Enablement ladder without the same opportunities for advancement and pay. All three of the plaintiffs resigned from Google based on their treatment based on their gender.

These claims alone provide evidence of the sexism happening in the workplace, but there is other evidence that suggest that their accusations hold truth as well. Around September 2015, OFCCP, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, completed a statistical regression analysis of the company's compensations data for about 21,000 employees at Google's Mountain View office. The analysis revealed a difference of 6-7 standard deviations between pay for men and women in almost every job classification in 2015; that is quite a large difference of pay simply based on gender.

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While all this evidence is hard to dispute, Google is definitely trying to do so. According to a statement made to The Register by Google's senior manager of corporate communications, Gina Scigliano, the levels in which employees are placed and the promotional opportunities offered are determined through extensive committees and checks to ensure that everything is decided fairly.

While this case may or may not prevail, the exposure of major companies preventing women from having equal opportunities as men, especially in the tech world, proves how far we still have to go to achieve gender equality.

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