Will the tech giant be sued for sexism?
Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde
We might be raising a generation of feminists, but at the moment things are looking pretty dire for women across the globe when it comes to equal pay. It’s 2017 and female employees are still earning less than their male counterparts – whether it’s reflective in the pay packets of Hollywood stars, the women working in the White House or those over at the BBC.
And it seems that women at the multinational technology conglomerate Google are not exempt from the inequality. According to a report in The Guardian, over 60 of the company’s present and former female employees are planning to sue over the gender pay gap.
It comes shortly after the sacking of Google engineer, James Damore. His scathing memo regarding the tech giant’s pro-diversity policies leaked online, and it detailed his thoughts on the imbalance between men and women working there. According to Damore, the disparity between the employees is the result of biological differences between the sexes. His riveting thought piece believes it’s because ‘men [have a] higher drive for status’ where women are ‘more prone to anxiety’. Sure.
He also stated that he found the initiatives to encourage female programmers ‘unfair’. Oh, boohoo.
Now, civil rights attorney James Finberg is putting together a case against Google in response to the gender pay gap, representing the female employees who feel financially shafted. He told The Guardian that the employees are ‘concerned that women [at Google] are channelled to levels and positions that pay less than men with similar education and experience,’ and that many felt there was a ‘culture that is hostile to women’ preventing the female employees from advancing as quickly as their male co-workers.
Finberg claims that many of he women involved in the lawsuit were earning $40,000 less than men in similar positions.
‘It’s demoralising,’ one said. ‘There’s something subconsciously that happens where you do start to question the value that you’re adding to the company. After a while, it just became exhausting.’
Another former Google employee said: ‘I was watching male co-workers progress at a faster rate than myself. It was really disturbing.’
It isn’t the first time that Google has come under fire for the pay gap. Earlier this year, the US Department of Labor said they had evidence of ‘systematic compensation disparities’ between male and female workers, suggesting that the pay disparity is in violation of federal employment laws.
A Google spokesperson declined to comment, but said that 60 employees was ‘a really small sample size.’
‘There are always going to be differences in salary based on location, role and performance, but the process is blind to gender,’ he added.