The technology industry is widely known for embracing different and disruptive ways of doing things. Technology leaders often break with tradition and beat their own drum. However, when it comes to hiring women, the technology industry does not have a positive track record. This doesn’t mean that women can’t make it, but it does mean that they will likely face an uphill battle.
Women make up 59% of America’s total workforce but make up only 30% of the workforce in major technology companies. Often, they are put into jobs like marketing or HR. They only hold about 17% of Google technology jobs and 15% of technology jobs at Facebook. Only five of the 41 Fortune 500 companies in the technology sector have a woman CEO. About 40% of women who have an engineering degree don’t wind up in a job or stay long enough to rise in their career.
The problem of sex discrimination in the tech industry has recently been given a lot of play by the media. In April the Silicon Valley company Palantir Technologies agreed to pay $1.6 million to settle charges of hiring discrimination, among other accusations. Palantir is a software company founded in 2004 that specializes in data analysis. Its clients are private companies, law enforcement agencies, and federal government agencies. The company is prohibited by law from discriminating on the basis of race, national origin, color, or sex and is supposed to take steps to affirmatively ensure equal opportunities.
The company is going to pay back wages in the amount of $1,659,434 as well as provide other remedies to the affected class and give job offers to eight of the class members.
Palantir isn’t the only tech company under scrutiny. After a lawsuit was filed to stop Google from doing business with the federal government until it complied with a compensation audit, the Labor Department began investigating how Google pays employees. Employees have accused the tech behemoth of paying its female employees too little.
A regional director of the Department of Labor has testified that there were compensation disparities that cut against women all through the workforce at Google. Meanwhile, Google has strongly disagreed with these charges and stated that it does a yearly analysis and discovered no gender pay gap. Historically, Google’s technical jobs have gone to white and Asian men, and they haven’t been successful at trying to create a balance. At this time, women hold only 19% of the tech jobs, and only close to 1/3 of the total workers are women.
Moreover, the Labor Department is also looking at other Silicon Valley companies regarding the degree to which there is hiring discrimination and discrimination in pay. The company sued Oracle on the ground that the business software maker regularly paid white male workers more than their counterparts who were women and not white for similar jobs.
There are both federal and state laws that prohibit gender discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the federal law that prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex. Texas Labor Code Chapter 21 is the state law that prohibits discrimination and harassment.
It is important to obtain representation from an experienced employment lawyer when you have a dispute with your employer regarding discrimination or other matters. Contact us at (214) 528-6500 or via our online intake form.
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