Underpaid and racism allegations at Coinbase

A New York Times report reveals serious differences in pay for women and black workers. It’s the next faux pas that Coinbase steps into. This time, however, the scandal comes at a very inconvenient time, as the startup is in the middle of planning an IPO.

In a recently published articleThe New York Times reveals allegations by female and black employees complaining of unfair working conditions at Coinbase

Accordingly, women and people of color are paid less than their male, white colleagues. The basis of the report is provided by analyzes by the economist Alexandra Marr, who previously provided analyzes for court cases that dealt with wage distortions. Marr examined salary data from 448 employees in 2018. Nine employees who also appeared in the data validated them against their own numbers and from colleagues they knew.

The analysis at Coinbase found that women received an average of $ 13,000 (8 percent) less salary than their male counterparts in comparable jobs and positions. Sometimes there are discrepancies of up to 20 percent. The analysis made a rough distinction between “manager”, “engineer” and “non-engineer”. The occupational groups were compared with one another in different hierarchy levels (level 1 to level 6). The department examined at Coinbase had to have at least three female employees. The biggest difference was with the level 1 managers, where female employees had to be content with 20 percent less salary. The level 1 non-engineers had the second largest deviation with 18 percent. Third place went to the Level 3 managers. Male employees there received a little over 200,000 US dollars annually, while female colleagues received an annual salary of almost 170,000 US dollars. An inequality of 16 percent.

There was a slight overpayment for female employees in two of the fourteen jobs at Coinbase. Female Level 1 engineers earned around 7 percent more than their male colleagues. There was also a two percent female overpayment at the level 6 manager level.

Black employees paid less – allegations of systematic racism

According to the article, dark-skinned employees are also affected by the unequal wage distribution. 16 black permanent employees appeared in the analyzed salary data. They got $ 11,500 less. That is 7 percent less than all other employees got. Anonymous reports by black employees also accuse the San Francisco tech startup of systematic racism.

Like the New York Timesreported that a manager made assumptions about a black employee in front of other colleagues as to whether he was dealing with drugs or carrying a weapon. Another dark-skinned employee describes a scene from a job interview in which the manager openly told him that he thought black employees were less capable. And yet another employee reported condescending treatment of her manager towards her and her black colleagues. So they were passed over in favor of white, less experienced employees even in the case of promotions.

In a statement, LJ Brock, Coinbase’s chief people officer, said the company began conducting a comprehensive review of compensation across the company in late 2018.