By: First Union
Big Tech Companies Need to End the Gender Pay Gap
Despite the great strides many big-name companies, specifically tech companies, may have made as far as workplace equality and placed the focus on an employee's output versus on who they are, there still exists a fundamental problem in Silicon Valley...While they may promote diversity and an overriding sense of workplace fairness, there is still a huge divide, as far as to pay, and also in terms of women's ability to climb the corporate ladder at the same rate as their male counterparts.
For instance, we need only look at Google. In their diversity report, it shows that the number of women and certain minorities has stayed stagnant—meaning no new strides as far as hiring in the past year. They've been served with gender-pay lawsuits recently as well. Similar statistics and events can be seen within the infrastructure at Uber, among others.
While many such companies are moving toward merit-based practices, this does not necessarily get rid of the problems. What's to stop managers for example from favoring those employees who tend to be more like them. Some studies have shown that when a business does rely upon a merit-based system, such biases are apt to make their presence known even more so.
It thus becomes incredibly difficult for a true merit-based system to have a real impact. So what can big tech companies do to prevent gender biases and unequal pay? For one, it's about transparency. The processes, the system, the rewards, all aspects, need to be made clear to everyone. Not to mention, for a merit-based system to genuinely work it has to be the responsibility of a group of individuals who are actually focused on its overall efficacy and essentially steward the processes.
Google, in an attempt to make its system work better, now allows the employee performance recommendations and reviews to be made by peers rather than managers. Many others are following suit. It's about becoming aware of the issues and the kinks in the system and then devising a plan to fix them.