Google calls The New York Times' report that female Google employees make less than men 'extremely flawed'

Google pushed back on a New York Times report Friday that showed a gender pay gap within the company based on data compiled by employees in a shared internal spreadsheet.

The spreadsheet, which had been circulated within the company since 2015, contained salary information from about 1,200 US Google employees, or 2% of the company, according to the report. Google employees were encouraged to share their salaries so their colleagues could negotiate better pay.

The salary information in the document showed that women were paid significantly less than men for the same level position. For example, the spreadsheet said that male “Level One” (entry-level) employees were paid an average of $US55,900. Female Level One employees were paid an average of $US40,300. The gap narrowed at higher-level positions.

The Times report contains data up to Level Six positions, which doesn’t cover execs and other senior positions at the company. A more recent version of the spreadsheet viewed by Business Insider shows that Level Seven female employees earn a higher average base salary ($US248,500) than male employees ($US219,691). But male Level Seven employees have a higher average bonus, according to the spreadsheet.

In a statement to Business Insider, Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano said the NYT’s analysis of the data was “extremely flawed” and didn’t take into account the different types of positions at the company.

“The analysis in this story is extremely flawed, as it features an extremely small sample size, and doesn’t include location, role, tenure or performance,” Scigliano said in the statement. “This means that the story is comparing the compensation of, for example, a high-performing Level 5 engineer in the Bay Area with a low-performing Level 5 non-technical employee working in a different location. It doesn’t make sense to compare the compensation of these two people. We do rigorous compensation analyses and when you compare like-for-like, women are paid 99.7% of what men are paid at Google.”

This isn’t the first time this year Google has had to respond to accusations that it doesn’t pay men and women equally. The US Department of Labour accused Google of underpaying women in April. In May, Google said it couldn’t provide more data to the Department of Labour to disprove the accusation because it’d cost $US100,000 and 500 hours of labour.

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