Finance News & Insights

Preventing a Google-caliber crisis: Finance pros’ top pay-equity strategies

Employers are well aware pay discrepancies between genders could come back to haunt them. As a result, many are taking proactive steps to make sure they prevent or address any problems before it’s too late. 

A recent WorldatWork report revealed that 60% of employers currently monitor their processes for pay equity issues. What’s more, 43% of employers spent more time on equal pay issues this year than they did the previous year.

And these figures are only likely to increase following the widespread coverage of the large-scale pay discrimination lawsuit that was just brought against Google (See below).

From regular analysis to internal committees

First, the study.The WorldatWork report also identified the various steps employers were currently using to address pay equity.

These steps included:

  • Conducting regular analyses to identify possible gender biases (cited by 54% of companies from the study)
  • Requiring managers to explain all pay decisions (20%)
  • No longer asking about job applicants’ salary histories (15%)
  • Utilizing software or algorithms to determine pay that controls for gender, race, ethnicity, etc. (11%)
  • Eliminating salary negotiating based on/for merit increases or promotions (3%)
  • Creating an internal committee to review all pay decisions (3%), and
  • Eliminating salary negotiations during hiring (1%).

Eleven percent of companies also cited “other,” 20% didn’t have any formal formals in place to address pay equity and 1% didn’t know if they had anything in place.

Thrust into the spotlight

The push for pay equity has moved well beyond the HR and benefits world thanks to recent events like the class action lawsuit against Google.

As our sister site, HR Morning, has reported on previously, Google is embattled in a lawsuit over gender-based pay discrimination by three female former workers who are attempting to seek class status for their suit.

The three ex-employees who filed the suit quit after being placed in career tracks that they claim would pay them less than their male counterparts.

One of the ex-employees, Kelly Ellis, said: “I have come forward to correct a pervasive problem of gender bias at Google. It is time to stop ignoring these issues in tech.”

Ellis says she quit Googe in 2014 after male engineers with similar experience were hired to higher-paying job levels and her being denied a promotion despite stellar performance reviews.

If class status is granted, thousands of Google employees in California would be seeking lost wages as well as a portion of the company’s profits.

This lawsuit comes on the heels of a federal labor investigation into Google’s pay practices. The preliminary finding of that investigation uncovered systematic pay discrimination among 21,000 employees at Google’s headquarters.

The initial stages of the review found women earned less than men in nearly every job classification.

(Note: This story was initially published on our sister website, HR Morning.)

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  • PeacePromoter

    Women’s advocates have long insisted employers pay women less than men for doing exactly the same work in the exact same occupations and careers, working side-by-side with men on the same job for the same organization, working the same number of hours per week, traveling the same amount of time for work obligations, with the same exact work experience and education, with exactly the same level of productivity.

    If the advocates know women are paid less, working women surely know it. So where are the millions of lawsuits? If the women don’t know they’re paid less, and the advocates do know it (how would THAT happen?), why haven’t the advocates notified them? And why haven’t they named the employers to embarrass them and helped the women sue?

    It’s mostly ideological noise to help secure female votes for Democrats.

    Here’s how I come to that conclusion:

    Although insisting women are paid less for the exact same work, women’s advocates also seem to think employers are cut-throat competitors whose prime modus operandi is greed. (“Corporate greed” may be one of the Left’s more salient rallying calls.)

    Thus they no doubt believe employers would hire only illegal immigrants for their lower labor cost if they could get away with it (many do get away with it), or would move their business to a cheap-labor country to save money (many do this even more since “the onrush of globalization, which enables companies to find cheap labor abroad”–_and_can_help_get_us_out_134069.html), or would replace old workers with young ones for the same reason.

    So why do these same advocates think “greedy, cut-throat employers” would NOT hire only women if, as they say, employers DO get away with paying females at a lower rate than males for the same work?

    Many of America’s most sophisticated women choose to earn less than their male counterparts:

    “Female physicians worked about 5 hours fewer per week than their male counterparts through age 54….”

    “In 2011, 22% of male physicians and 44% of female physicians worked less than full time, up from 7% of men and 29% of women from Cejka’s 2005 survey.”

    “…[O]nly 35 percent of women who have earned MBAs after getting a bachelor’s degree from a top school are working full time.” It “is not surprising that women are not showing up more often in corporations’ top ranks.”

    “Compared to men, women view professional advancement as equally attainable, but less desirable”

    “Women Dominate College Majors That Lead to Lower-Paying Work” -Harvard Business Review, April 19, 2017

    See other reasons the wage gap hasn’t closed after thousands of measures over many decades:

    “Salary Secrecy — Discrimination Against Women?”


    More and more people have become aware of the real causes of the gender wage gap. (Read the growing number of comments at the end of reports on the gap.) Thus liberals’ long-running, false wage-gap narrative has, I believe, helped hugely to create this:

    “Republicans don’t have near as big a woman problem as Democrats have a man problem.” WSJ

    And this:

    “The whole Democratic Party is now a smoking pile of rubble: In state government things are worse, if anything. The GOP now controls historical record number of governors’ mansions, including a majority of New England governorships. Tuesday’s election swapped around a few state legislative houses but left Democrats controlling a distinct minority. The same story applies further down ballot, where most elected attorneys general, insurance commissioners, secretaries of state, and so forth are Republicans.”