After conducting an internal review, Google discovered a severe gender pay gap. While many would assume that the company found that female software engineers were making less than men, that wasn’t the case. Instead, Google uncovered a major pay inequity in the other direction and issued thousands of raises to men to correct the imbalance.
Across all areas, Google made pay adjustments for 10,667 employees to the tune of $9.7 million, according to a report by the Daily Mail.
In a blog post, the tech giant stated, “Compensation should be based on what you do, not who you are,” publicly justifying the salary adjustments.
The discovery could be considered a shock to many. The company was targeted by a class-action lawsuit in October of last year by women, focusing on the gender pay gap.
While researching the issue, the internal investigation discovered that male software engineers were actually getting the short end of the stick.
“The 2018 analysis flagged one particularly large job code (Level 4 Software Engineer) for adjustments,” said Lead Analyst for Pay Equity Lauren Barbato.
“Within this job code, men were flagged for adjustments because they received less discretionary funds than women.”
The analysis didn’t just examine inequities based on gender but also made sure there would be no imbalances based on race.
While male software engineers were discussed specifically, not all of the 10,667 employees who received adjustments were in that job category. It is not clear where the other discrepancies were or who suffered because of pay inequity.
Last fall, a mass walkout at Google offices across the globe aimed to bring attention to accusations of sexual harassment by senior staff members. Thousands of tech engineers took part, protesting the male-dominated culture at the company, which they say enabled the abuse.
In response, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in an email to employees, “Google’s leaders and I have heard your feedback and have been moved by the stories you’ve shared.”
“We recognize that we have not always gotten everything right in the past and we are sincerely sorry for that,” he continued. “It’s clear we need to make some changes.”