To the company's credit, Google has been one of the most outspoken advocates of pay equity analysis, creating a comprehensive guide for other organizations. It scores high on sites like Blendoor and InHerSight that rate companies on diversity factors.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki penned an article last month on "how to break up Silicon Valley's boy's club," citing Google's improved retention of female employees after extending its paid maternity leave program. Diane Greene, senior vice president of Google Cloud, also said that she felt Google was a "safe" environment for women to ask for recognition. And Laszlo Bock, formerly a senior vice president of people operations at Google, wrote last year that Google gives women higher raises by focusing on target salaries rather than prior pay.
But some have also pointed to a dark side at Google. Erica Baker, then at Google and now at Slack, made headlines in 2015 when she created a shared spreadsheet that showed bonuses at Google were not distributed equitably.
"Google has a particularly complicated system.The issue is there's not enough women in the highest paying jobs, it's probably skewing a lot of this," Swisher said. "Look at the numbers at Google — not just Google but all of the companies in tech. Most of the engineers, who are the most highly paid people there, are men."
As companies like Uber also fight allegations of sexism, gender equity is likely to continue to be a burning concern for technology companies. Emerson said that what is disclosed publicly is less important than taking action within the organization.
"It's a question of what they're going to do about it," Swisher said.