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Google’s alleged gender pay gap: activist investor pushes parent firm for data, cites Damore memo

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The blows against Google over its compensation for female employees just keep coming.

In April, the U.S. Department of Labor — probing compensation at Google — accused the tech giant of “extreme” gender discrimination in pay.

In September, a report emerged that an ex-Googler had compiled data, provided to the New York Times, showing women receiving lower pay and smaller bonuses than men at most job levels.

Scarcely a week later, three women filed a lawsuit alleging Google systematically pays women less than men and has a “sexist culture” in which women are “segregated” into lower-paying jobs and career tracks while men with equivalent qualifications jump ahead.

Google has consistently denied paying women less than men.

Now, an activist investor is demanding that Google’s parent firm Alphabet provide a formal, comprehensive report on its compensation practices.

“Alphabet has refused to disclose the company’s gender pay gap in a transparent, quantitative manner,” Arjuna Capital managing partner Natasha Lamb wrote in a Sept. 26 letter to the firm’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt.

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“Instead the company has relied on platitudes that there is no gap, trust us.”

Lamb noted that for two years straight Alphabet’s “male-dominated management” has voted against shareholder proposals on gender equity in pay.

“And the recent episode of a Google engineer issuing a blatantly antiwomen ‘manifesto’ can be seen as a reflection of a corporate culture Google has advanced,” Lamb wrote.

Alphabet should welcome a chance to “clear the air” on the pay issue and begin corrective action, Lamb wrote.

“Stalling tactics do nothing but confirm suspicions that the company has either something to hide or such a callous attitude toward women that it can’t be bothered to address the issue of gender pay equity at the level and in the manner it deserves,” she wrote.

Google, in response to reports claiming women get paid less than men, has been consistent in its response that it studies its compensation practices thoroughly and finds no gender gap in pay.

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“We do rigorous compensation analyses and when you compare like-for-like, women are paid 99.7 percent of what men are paid at Google,” the company said in a September statement.

Photo: Technology workers outside a Google building (Bay Area News Group)

Tags: Alphabet, Arjuna Capital, compensation, discrimination, gender, Google, Natasha Lamb, pay, women

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