It’s sadly not uncommon in today’s working world for a woman to get paid less than a man for the same job, but that’s been changing slowly in recent years. Google, however, recently discovered that it was actually paying some men less than women for the same job and paid out wage adjustments to compensate.

Explained this week in a now-public internal pay audit, Google says that it found that male Level 4 software engineers received less in compensation compared to women in that same role. That situation along with other pay differences throughout the company led to Google paying out $9.7 million in wage adjustments for 10,677 employees.

Google hasn’t confirmed how many of those employees were men who were being paid less than women in the company and the company has declined to share further details with the press. Google does mention, though, that its 2018 analysis did flag that software engineering job specifically for needed adjustments.

There are a couple of reasons that the pay equity analysis required more adjustments in 2018, compared to 2017. First, the 2018 analysis flagged one particularly large job code (Level 4 Software Engineer) for adjustments. Within this job code, men were flagged for adjustments because they received less discretionary funds than women. Secondly, this year we undertook a new hire analysis to look for any discrepancies in offers to new employees—this accounted for 49 percent of the total dollars spent on adjustments.

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. Because  leveling, performance ratings, and promotion impact pay, this year, we are undertaking a comprehensive review of these processes to make sure the outcomes are fair and equitable for all employees.

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Ben Schoon

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