Women fight back against Google after memo controversy

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More than 60 female employees at Google could be set to sue the internet titan over pay disparities, according to reports. The news follows the sacking of Google engineer James Damore, who was fired after writing a memo claiming that women were less likely to reach higher company positions due to ‘biological causes’.

Despite dismissing the employee, legal action could be taken following a claim that company culture is “hostile to women.” This is according James Finberg, the civil rights attorney working on the possible legal action, speaking to the Guardian. There are fears that women could be paid around $40,000 (£30,800) less than their male counterparts, according to the attorney, and the news comes after the BBC found itself in a similar situation when publishing the earnings of its top talent.

A Google spokesperson told The Guardian that “there are always going to be differences in salary based on location, role and performance, but the process is blind to gender.” Should legal action go forward, Finberg expects other technology companies to begin speaking out as well, and companies could see a move towards more transparency and policy making, which experts believe are key.

“This case highlights the need for organisations to have a clearly written Equality and Diversity Policy,” CEO of EssentialSkillz Julian Roberts told PA Life, discussing the dismissal yesterday. “Furthermore, in the event someone contravenes it, a solid audit trail is required to prove that they have not only read but also understood and signed off their agreement with the policy before action is taken.”

Company culture internationally could be seen to change significantly following the news, with around 75% of Brits already admitting to leaving their jobs down to hostile or inappropriate working environments.

Do you think company sensibilities need to change in order to encourage inclusivity? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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    Toby Cruse

    Content Writer - PA Life

    All stories by: Toby Cruse