Kelly Ellis, who used to work at Google, spoke about how the master-company pays female employees subordinately, on the Bloomberg podcast just recently. Well, she initiated her talk by manifesting how people think of a job at Google as ‘the ultimate dream job’.
In 2010, Kelly joined Google as a software engineer. She herself had the illusion that Google was her dream job, with all of the perks that a Google employee flaunts in photos, the Gym, the nap pods and much more. She did a minor in Software Engineering and had an experience of 4 years at that time. On her first day, she was given the customary colorful Google hat with the rotors on it, which is called as the ‘Noogler’ hat. Get it? ‘Google’, ‘New’- ‘Noogler’?
According to Kelly, it took an infinitesimal time period for Google to go through the orientation process with Kelly after which she plunged right off to work. Although, it was a few months into the job when she commenced realizing that there was a homogenous transgression enduring in terms of salary between male and female employees.
She noticed that not just her, but most female employees were a victim of this misdemeanor. Kelly disclosed, “I remember talking to other women engineers about similar frustrations. I think I just didn’t wanna believe Google to be evil.”
Now, she’s suing Google for discrimination
She isn’t on Google anymore, definitely. When she left, she decided to move on with her career initially. But that is until other people and the Government itself discovered this peccadillo. “Now, Kelly finds herself in a high-profile battle against the company, suing Google for discrimination-” Bloomberg says.
Kelly’s on her second job since she left Google. She works out of Oakland for a tech startup. According to Bloomberg, Kelly’s always been very operatic of women’s experiences in the technology space. Sadly, she had to face this herself. She started to see signs of transgression almost immediately after she joined Google, the most of which, she realized used to ensue while working with front-end code.
A lot of people in the software world would perceive front-end engineering as a thing that a lot of people could do without a certain degree. Just a heads up- front-end coding’s end result is what users see on their side while back-end coding is everything that deals with the working of the front-end code. A good example of back-end coding would be managing servers and databases.
So, Kelly was assigned to front-end coding. But that wasn’t something that she’d done before. Google, on the other hand, has a level-based rewarding system where level-1 employees are interns and new people. And those are the ones who get the least salary. Though, level-10, the topmost one comprises of top Google executives which, of course, get paid in significantly higher amounts. Kelly started to suspect that she was hired at the wrong level.
“I had another software engineer join the same team the week after I did and he and I both graduated the same year but he was level 4 while I was level 3,” Kelly pointed. This wasn’t the only time Kelly noticed this. After some time, a group of other young engineers was hired which had the same expertise as her, yet were placed on a higher level than her.
And when she went to accost the authorities, she was told that they sometimes “downslot people” and then correct it with a promotion. She even applied for a promotion and the people reviewing her application came to terms with her work as they themselves found it to be of ‘level-4 quality’. Regrettably, she did not get promoted. And the reason given to her was that she hadn’t worked for Google long enough.
Well, this isn’t new for the tech world, or for that matter, any corporate world to notice. Stuff like this has been going on for centuries. Women always have been considered a little less than men in terms of strength, emotions, judgment, and now are provided with lesser wages than men. And the reason for people to not notice this more often is that it isn’t documented much. Either there are nominal sources that cover such stories, or these stories are never shared out of the office campus.
Even if women are distinguished, only a few raise their voice against it. And those who do, are usually suppressed by expiations.
According to Bloomberg, “3 years after quitting the Google job, in 2017, Kelly was browsing the news online when she saw an article about a Government investigation into Google. In a court hearing, a lawyer with a department of labor said that they’d found evidence of systemic compensation disparities at the company.”
The Government investigation moderately induced an ambition in Kelly to indoctrinate her experiences in front of a crowd. The unambiguous reports by the department of labor demonstrated the gaps in the pay between women and men which the government found to be fairly significant.
Jim Finberg compared this situation to a coin toss!
Jim Finberg, a San Francisco lawyer who specializes in workplace discriminations got to know about this case. Comparing the situation to a coin toss, he says that, “if I flip a coin, there’s a one in two chance that it’ll be heads. If I flip a coin a thousand times and its only heads once out of a thousand times; well that’s a lot more suspicious than if it’s once out of two times.”
Jim and his team posted on social media looking for an opportunity to talk to other such female victims from Google. And they were surprised by the number of calls they received. About 80 to 100 women said that it was terrible working in Google- as a woman!
Kelly was one of the women that saw Jim’s post. According to Bloomberg, she filled a form and met him and his colleagues to narrate her story in person while auditioning other women at the same time. She said, ” I was finally realizing that this wasn’t a well-intended accident. And I’m not saying that they set out to discriminate against women, but I fully believe that they know about the problem and have decided not to fix it.”
Along with two other women, Kelly later filed a lawsuit with the help of Jim Finberg that slated the company as an abode of discrimination. And that gained a lot of traction worldwide. However, Google denied the allegations and quoted in a blog post that its inquiry returned no traces of a pay gap based on gender or race. Though its calculations excluded 11 percent of its workforce, Bloomberg reported.
Well, it’s certain that the sense of superiority amongst genders could, and will reduce the overall efficiency of the global system. It is a fact that men have a 15 percent larger brain than women, but theirs is better at efficiently handling and executing stuff.
With a global structure like our modern world, survival of tech companies doesn’t solely rely on its products or quality, respecting the workforce and keeping a balance throughout could prove to be a constitutive leap as well. Just imagining the loss of a hundred female employees from a company is an intimidating thought as a whole. An entire division could shut down affecting sales, production, marketing, and whatnot.
Especially, if the companies which are significantly smaller than Google undertake this standard, a downfall is very near, if not immediate. Not just women; discrimination of men could also lead to the same problems. And yes, men are discriminated as well. But not at the level women have to face prejudice.