Google said it was “quite surprised” when the Department of Labor claimed last week that the tech giant fostered an extreme gender pay gap across its workforce.
And now it’s telling us why. Google claims that its pay practices support salary equity to prevent pay gaps by gender and race.
To back up that assertion in its fight with the Department of Labor, Google Vice President for People Operations Eileen Naughton outlined Google’s process of salary analysis in a blog post titled “Our focus on pay equity” published Tuesday morning.
According to Naughton’s post, Google analyzed 52 job categories for salary discrimination last year. In practice, Google analysts — not managers — who didn’t know the gender of employees suggested new compensation for the upcoming year based on an employee’s role, level, location, and performance ratings. Managers could then adjust that amount slightly but weren’t the ones to determine initial offers.
Then, the company looked at finalized salaries statistically to check for any differences in pay by gender that made it through that process.
Naughton wrote that the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs accused the company of not compensating women fairly without supporting data or methodology. Her blog post also said that the office is still seeking thousands more employee records, seeming to imply that the watchdog office couldn’t have reached a conclusion yet.
“Our analysis gives us confidence that there is no gender pay gap at Google,” Naughton wrote in her post.
Google has claimed it has reached equal pay before. Just last week, before the DOL’s public allegations, Google promoted its salary equity on Equal Pay Day.
But Google employees haven’t agreed with Google’s corporate claims regarding equal pay. Former Google engineer Erica Baker tried to collect salary data when she worked at Google, and didn’t seem surprised by the Department of Labor’s findings.