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

New approach coming next year ... when complaints have died down

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-level engineers; these folks are then trained up in various departments in the Chocolate Factory, and after a year they’re either hired as a proper developer or dropped.

The idea is to identify and top up the skills of people who show potential but have not had the same opportunities as others to learn and grow, or have faced unfair career-limiting hurdles, prior to applying for a role at Google. Newbie coders get a place at one of the world’s biggest names in tech, and Google gets a workers from a diverse range of backgrounds.

But after completing the program, alumni are given lower salaries, smaller bonus payments, and no stock units compared to their peers, a group of over 500 current and former Googlers have claimed.

Over time, this pay gap creates “systemic pay inequities,” according to presentation given to the web giant's top brass by Eng Res graduates, Reuters reports.

Now, Google has dropped Eng Res altogether. A spokesperson told The Register a new program will be put in place.

“The Eng Res program was built to provide a wide range of high potential engineers a 12 month rotation through different parts of Google, helping residents hone their skills and gain relevant experience as they start their careers," a spokesperson said.

"We’re always evaluating programs to ensure they evolve and adapt over time to meet the needs of our employees — as such, our Early Career Immersion (ECI) onboarding program will provide a new approach to supporting the growth of recent graduate engineers.”

The internet titan's veep of education and university programs Maggie Johnson emailed alumni earlier this month notifying them that Eng Res will be replaced with EIC starting in 2022.

Googlers have complained about unfair pay gaps within the mega-corp's sprawling empire for yonks. The Chocolate Factory is facing a class-action lawsuit led by four women alleging men working in the same roles as women are paid higher for no good reason.

Last year, Google was ordered to fork out at least $3.8m in back pay and compensation for female engineers and Asian candidates, after the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs within the US government's Department of Labor found the biz paid women less than men, and were less likely to hire Asian people qualified for the jobs they applied for than others. ®

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