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Engineer Accuses Google of Gender Discrimination

Date25 Sep 2019

Ulku Rowe has filed a discrimination lawsuit against Google, alleging that the company hired her at a lower level than she deserved and paid her less than male peers.

Rowe was hired at Google in the Cloud platform division as an engineer in May 2017. She claims she had enough experience to be hired for a Level 9 director position. Her hiring manager told her that everyone hired for her role was put in Level 8. According to the lawsuit, a Level 8 position that pays hundreds of thousands dollars less every year than a Level 9 position.

The suit claims that Google hired several men with similar or less experience to Level 9 roles at the same time.

The lawsuit additionally alleges that Rowe, received “exceeds expectations” on all her performance reviews but was passed over for a promotion after a reporting-structure change put her under a vice-president who, “Regularly excluded [her] but not her male colleagues, from staff meetings, e-mail distribution lists, team off-sites, and one-on-one meetings.”

As explained in the suit, “Even though (Rowe) was amply qualified for the Level 9 position and previously had been told by both her hiring manager and Google Cloud’s chief technology officer that she was expected to move into that role, the VP failed to meaningfully consider (Rowe).”

The lawsuit claims that Rowe’s complaints to the human resources department were dismissed.

The lawsuit says that human resources, “- eventually conducted a cursory investigation and, in November 2018, ignoring the plain facts, communicated that they did not believe that the company had committed any wrongdoing.”

A spokesperson for Google said that the company, “thoroughly investigated Ms. Rowe’s complaints regarding unfair pay and level-at-hire and did not substantiate her concerns.”

Rowe seeks compensation for lost wages and damages for violations of the Equal Pay Act.


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