back to article Google cans engineering diversity training scheme after alumni complain of abysmal pay packages

Google has scrapped a scheme designed to train and hire engineers from diverse backgrounds – after people who made it through the program to become Googlers complained they were screwed over in pay. The engineering residency program, known as Eng Res, has run since 2014. It’s aimed at those who don’t quite qualify as entry- …

  1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

    "compared to their peers"

    Clearly not. There peers were rejected outright. The fact that they are put through a year-long Google bootcamp in the hopes that they can come up to speed makes it clear that they are in no way the peers of people who received a normal offer. What's more, given the politics at G, they would have had the system for promotions & raises explained to them ad nausium. I mentioned before that G runs experiments on their hiring processes. Looks like this one did not work.

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Clearly not. There peers were rejected outright.

      There was me thinking they meant peers as is "employed to do the same job by the same company".

      1. fwthinks

        Re: Clearly not. There peers were rejected outright.

        "Employed to do the same job" does not automatically mean everyone performs to the same level. I have never been in a team where everyone is identical from a capability perspective.

        Paying everyone in the same role an identical salary is a nice idea in theory, but in reality never seems to work that well. Unfortunately being paid by capability doesn't always happen either. Salary tends to be determined by how much you short and how desperate the company is to retain/hire you. Not that I agree with this, just have lots of experience.

  2. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

    Re: Looks like this one did not work.

    Or perhaps it did, but turns out an increasing proportion of people dislike the reality of meritocracy* if they're assessed as not as good as others?

    .

    * Assuming that Google is actually a meritocracy, of course...

    1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

      Re: 'Meritocracy'

      For an interesting take on Meritocracy, read 'The Tyranny of Merit' by Michael J. Sandel, ISBN 978-0-241-40759-2. A friend gave me a copy and I found it rather thought-provoking.

  3. Richocet

    Or it shows that the problems of lower pay and opportunities for minorities are part of Google culture, and even through this program got more people in the door who were not given opportunities through the traditional hiring process, these issues kicked in later.

    Or it shows that such an opportunity is not enough to catch up with people who faced less obstacles.

    There is not enough information provided about what proportion of people on the program didn't do well after the program, and we don't know the parameters of the quality of the people in the program. It would likely be be a bell curve with some talented people, some people who shouldn't have made it into the program in the first place, and most in between.

  4. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Talent should trump a sheepskin

    Kudos for having a hiring path that isn't mired in HR, but a big down check for compensating staff doing the same sort of work differently.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Talent should trump a sheepskin

      But they are not doing the same work. From what I got from the article, they are being rotated in various departments and learning on the job.

      They've been given a foot in the door, but they are not engineers and still have much to learn. Normal that they don't get the same benefits that are given to actual engineers.

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: Talent should trump a sheepskin

        I've worked most of my life as a "software engineer", but, as I studied - and then dropped - engineering at university, I've never considered myself an "actual engineer".

        It's always amazed me how much people in US tech hotspots get paid for writing code, particularly when companies like Google seem to throw so much of it away. And that, I think, is the issue: there's no real way of assessing the value of what's produced so there's no real basis for a meritocratic assessment.

      2. Citizen of Nowhere

        Re: Talent should trump a sheepskin

        The article states that once completing the program and going on to work on the same footing as other Google employees, their salaries and bonuses start and stay lower than that of their directly-hired colleagues. Of course, there could be many individual factors involved in that. But it would certainly look a little strange if it were the case in every single case, as it were.

  5. codejunky Silver badge

    So

    "Google has scrapped a scheme designed to train and hire engineers from diverse backgrounds – after people who made it through the program to become Googlers complained they were screwed over in pay."

    Hiring people not based on their skills but on 'diversity' (diversity of what?) results in those people being paid less than those hired based on skills? Assuming I am reading that right it seems about right.

  6. HammerOn1024

    This is my...

    Shocked Face:

    :-|

  7. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    I don't think anyone is compensated fairly, maybe except the top

    How else can you explain billions in "profits" (of course these are not profits for tax purposes) or lavish offices in prime locations?

    If the workers produce so much value, why are they not compensated accordingly but they are given the mythical "market rates" instead?

    The software engineers are supposedly smart people, then why do they get exploited so easily?

    1. elip

      Re: I don't think anyone is compensated fairly, maybe except the top

      Hopefully you're speaking of Google and not tech industry in general.

      With regards to Google, software engineers are some of the highest if not *the* highest paid people in the company. There are many making 700K+ in salary alone.

      The truth is, like at all other places of business, a small handful produces most of the company's value, a giant several handfuls produces a little value, and another small handful shows up and putts around producing no value.

    2. yetanotheraoc

      Re: I don't think anyone is compensated fairly, maybe except the top

      "... why do they get exploited so easily?"

      It's a transaction. Smart people can be paid well enough for little risk by agreeing to be paid less than the worth of their output. Those with valuable skills have all kinds of choices, that happens to be one of the options available to them.

      1. Richocet

        Re: I don't think anyone is compensated fairly, maybe except the top

        It's more about how much power you have than how smart you are. With the exception perhaps of being able to manipulate people exceptionally well, which isn't something that should attract extra money except in sales, diplomacy and some management positions.

        An example would be the son / daughter of the CEO gets a job over the top of better candidates, gets paid well, is exempt from most disciplinary action, and isn't required to work very hard. Most of you would have seen this at some point of your career.

  8. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Problem is probably cost of living

    Honestly part of the problem is probably cost of living based, depending on how abysmal those abysmal pay packages are. I could tough it out with lower pay for a genuine opportunity to get in at a place like this. But, the prices in silicon valley area and areas like that are so extreme you could be paid what would be a very good pay scale here in the midwest, there you would essentially have a choice of sharing an apartment with a bunch of roomates (and have some discretionary money left over to save up or spend) or rent on your own but barely scrape by. Could be especially difficult if you got through the first year, and the pay scale offered at that point is still low enough for this to be a problem.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021