Google’s Recent Discrimination Settlement Is a Sign of Tech Industry’s Overall Issues

By Thomas Price Wednesday, February 3, 2021

The pay gap between men and women has long been a major point of inequality in the workforce. While many industries take steps to combat this issue, major tech companies remain woefully behind despite being considered one of the more progressive business types. This inequality has been most recently highlighted by the US Department of Labor reporting that Google has been underpaying its female software engineers along with reports that the company’s hiring practices put women and Asian applicants at a disadvantage. While the company is now paying millions in back pay and interest, there is still a major problem among businesses in the tech industry that has yet to be fully addressed.

Two female programmers working at desktop computers.

Google’s Recent Discrimination Allegations

Google has begun paying back $2.5 million in back pay and interest to female software engineers and Asian and female engineering applicants due to allegations from the US Department of Labor, indicating unequal pay between men and women at the company and disadvantaged hiring practices.

The money will be broken down into two major sections, with 1,757 female and 1,219 Asian engineering applicants receiving portions of $1.232 million in back pay and interest for positions they were not hired for. The other $1.353 million will be allocated to 2,565 female software engineers that the business has neglected to fairly compensate for their work.

When commenting on the recent back pay, a Google spokesperson released a statement saying, “For the past eight years, we have run annual internal pay equity analysis to identify and address any discrepancies. We’re pleased to have resolved this matter related to allegations from the 2014-2017 audits and remain committed to diversity and equity and to supporting our people in a way that allows them to do their best work.”

Issues With Inequality Across Tech Businesses

While Google appears to be at least attempting to fix the company’s own issues with inequality internally, the systemic problems across the entire tech business remain. According to data from the US Census Bureau, women’s median annual salaries are a whopping $9,909 less than men’s. In fact, more than half the women who work for a business in the tech sector are getting paid less than their direct male counterparts.

The pay gap widens even further when taking into account different minorities as well. While the average gender pay gap for tech companies is 3%, the gap is 8% for LGBTQ women, 9% for Hispanic women, and 11% for Black women.

More troubling is the amount of major tech businesses that have gender pay gaps as well. In fact, PayPal, Apple, and Facebook all have gaps in annual median salary of over $12,000 while other major companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, Google Alphabet, Cisco, and eBay also have lower salary packages for women, though the gap is less pronounced. Adobe stands out as the only business where the average salary for a woman at the company is higher than the average salary for a man.

About the Author


Headshot for author Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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