Google Defends Pay Gap Numbers: “We Compensate Googlers Based On What They Do, Not Who They Are”

Google Defends Pay Gap Numbers: “We Compensate Googlers Based On What They Do, Not Who They Are”

Yesterday, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) released its gender pay gap numbers for the first time, and not everyone agrees with the findings.

Following the release, Google Australia – which had a median gender pay gap of 14.9 per cent when total remuneration is considered – issued a statement to clarify its position.

Melanie Silva, Google Australia and New Zealand’s managing director and VP, wrote: “for the purposes of the 2022-23 WGEA analysis, we have been required to compare the overall median earnings for men and women, meaning job level, performance, tenure, and role have not been factored in”.

“It also means that men and women, in all roles, be it technical and non-technical, have been compared when considering median total and base compensation”.

Google Australia MD and vice president Melanie Silva.

Silva went on to say that looking at the difference in median salaries is not the same as equal pay.

“Google does conduct a global pay equity analysis annually. Our pay processes are designed to be fair and equitable and are an important part of our commitment to improve diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI). It’s important, however, to outline that the gender pay gap – the difference between men and women’s median total or base pay – is not the same as equal pay where everyone who does a job of equal value must earn the same pay”.

“At Google, we compensate Googlers based on what they do, not who they are. When we calculate employee pay, our teams consider variables such as the market rate for individual roles, their level within the company, promotion history, and their performance rating”.

The tech giant says it ensures equal pay by lifting an employee’s salary if there is any discrepancy based on gender.

“During our annual pay equity reviews, we search for any unexplained discrepancies by gender. If we find any, we make upward pay adjustments before an employee’s compensation goes into effect. This helps us to prevent pay disparity, removes bias from our rewards system, and ensures that remuneration packages accurately reflect the individual efforts of those working with us. Our approach means we can be confident that there are no statistically significant pay differences between individuals based on gender, when accounting for factors such as role, job level and performance”.

Silva also acknowledged Google’s  intention to “create an environment in which everyone feels they belong”.

“We are keenly aware that true representation and equity is an ongoing journey and one that we’ll continue to address at Google Australia at all levels over the coming year”.

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