Big Red's big pay gap: $13,000 gulf between male and female Oracle staffers – reports

Women allegedly paid 13% less in bonuses, 33% less in stock value

Mind the gap image

Oracle is under fire for allegedly paying women staffers $13,000 less on average than their male counterparts.

The figure was released on Friday, as part of a pay discrimination lawsuit filed against Big Red in the San Mateo County state court of California in 2017.

The latest filing, submitted ahead of a joint case management conference on 25 January, is an analysis of payroll data carried out by Professor David Neumark of UC Irvine.

This found that women were paid on average $13,000 less than men, even after controlling for various factors such as career level, performance review scores and office location, according to The Guardian.

Neumark is said to have claimed that the probability of the discrepancy happening by chance was less than one in a billion.

The analysis found that women made 13.2 per cent less in bonuses, and 33.1 per cent less in stock value.

Females also made 3.8 per cent less in base salaries on average than men in the same job categories. This discrepancy is partly due to Oracle's practice of using a staffer's prior pay to set starting rates. California banned this practice in October 2017 to crack down on discrimination.

The class-action complaint against Oracle hopes to represent the 4,200 female employees that have worked at the company since 2013 in IT, product development and support roles.

Since it was first filed, two new plaintiffs have been added to the list. One of these, Marilyn Clark, alleged that she had discovered a colleague was making about $20,000 (22 per cent) more than her when she found a pay stub he had left behind in a common area.

"I just couldn't believe it. I was angry," she told The Guardian. "I felt like I had been punched in the gut."

Oracle has regularly rejected calls for it to publish gender equity stats – stakeholder Pax World Mutual Funds has repeatedly requested Oracle produce a pay equity report ahead of the firm's AGM, but has yet to succeed.

Big Red's argument is that it is committed to diversity, pointing to the fact three of the 12 board members are women, that it runs an unconscious bias programme and has an Oracle Women's Leadership programme.

It also claimed that drawing up such a report "would be costly and time-consuming" and "would not lead to meaningful gains in support of workforce diversity and gender pay equity".

However, Oracle does appear willing to go to some lengths to ensure workplace survey data it submits to the US government is not released to the public.

Earlier this month, the Centre for Investigative Reporting's Reveal said that – in response to attempts to obtain Oracle's diversity stats (held in equality surveys EEO-1 forms) from the Department of Labor – the firm had claimed they would damage business.

According to a letter objecting to the release under the Freedom of Information Act, and published by Reveal, Oracle said "there is a very real threat to its competitive position" if its diversity information was made public.

But a number of the firm's competitors – including Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Salesforce, Cisco, HPE and Intel – post their EEO-1 forms online.

Oracle also claimed that releasing the form – which doesn't identify individuals – would constitute an invasion of privacy for its staff, because it would be possible to figure out who they were based on their division, gender and race.

"For example, the 2016 headquarters report indicates that there were two Hispanic or Latino males and one Asian female in the Executive/Senior Level Official or Managers category," it said.

"The identities of these individuals can be easily discovered, particularly in categories containing only one person of a gender identified as a certain race."

Oracle declined to comment. ®




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