Google has revealed it made a comparatively large adjustment to worker incomes after a review found that some male software engineers got less discretionary pay than their female counterparts.
The company in 2018 paid out $9.7m in adjustments to 10,677 employees, a huge increase over its 2017 review, which resulted in payments totaling $270,000 to 228 employees.
The year's adjustments were large because a discrepancy between discretionary funds for men and women was found in the large 'Level 4 software engineer' job code.
Google says employee compensation is modeled algorithmically, based on factors like the market rate for a job, location, level, and performance. Managers can then use their discretion, with an explanation, to adjust an employee's modeled compensation.
The other reason for the big jump is that Google added a new review that looked at discrepancies in offers to new employees. It says the new hires review accounted for 49 percent of the total spent on adjustments.
SEE: Transgender employees in tech: Why this "progressive" industry has more work to do to achieve true gender inclusivity (TechRepublic cover story)
The finding that men have gained less from discretionary funds than women in that job category is seen as a surprise given studies that show women in general earn far less than men in the same job. The Department of Labor in 2017 also accused Google of systemic pay discrimination, which the company denied.
However, the finding that one group of men in Google have been paid less than women doesn't say anything about overall equality at Google.
Google says it will expand its review this year beyond comparing pay equity across the same job codes to include "leveling, performance ratings, and promotion", which also impact pay.
"Our pay equity analysis ensures that compensation is fair for employees in the same job, at the same level, location and performance. But we know that's only part of the story," says Google.
The first phase will look at how employees' pay is leveled when they're hired.
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