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The gender pay gap may not close for more than 100 years. Experts look at how it’s calculated and interpreted for women in the workforce.
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SAN FRANCISCO — Women are paid less than men at most job levels at Google and that disparity only widens at more senior levels, according to a spreadsheet obtained by USA TODAY and first reported by the New York Times.

The spreadsheet, which contains salary and bonus information for 2017, will likely heat up debate over the gender pay gap at Silicon Valley technology companies, where men vastly outnumber women.

Google says the spreadsheet, which contains information supplied by employees, does not paint an accurate picture of compensation at the Internet giant because it does not take into consideration important factors such as where an employee is based as well as that employee’s tenure and job performance.

The spreadsheet was started by a former employee, Erica Baker. By tracking salaries, she hoped to bring to light any disparities for women or people of color and help her colleagues negotiate higher compensation. In 2015 she alleged the spreadsheet revealed “not great things” about pay equality at the Internet giant.

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Scrutiny of Google has intensified since the Labor Department began examining possible pay disparities. In April, a Labor Department official said it had found “systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire work force.”

Google disputes that. In January, it said women make 99.7 cents for every dollar a man makes at the Silicon Valley company.

According to the New York Times‘ analysis of the spreadsheet, at five of six job levels, women are paid less than men. At the entry level for technical positions, women make 4% less than men at $124,000 in salary and bonus. By mid-career, women earn on average $11,000 less than men, the New York Times reported.

Google, which segments its employees by levels from one to seven, says the analysis features “an extremely small sample size, and doesn’t include location, role, tenure or performance.”

“This means that the story is comparing the compensation of, for example, a high-performing Level 5 engineer in the Bay Area with a low-performing Level 5…