Just a few hours after Ripple worked to distance itself from the controversy at XRP, a storm could be headed its way. According to the New York Times, the San Francisco based exchange has a pay disparity problem based on race and gender.
Alarming pay disparities based on gender and race
According to a report from New York Times journalist Nathaniel Popper, Coinbase paid salaried black employees 7% less in similar positions based on payroll data in 2018. Across the company, the pay gap averaged to about $11,500. When factoring in stock options, the gap between black and white employees compensation at Coinbase was closer to 11%.
The report also pointed out serious pay disparities based on gender. Male level-one managers for instance earned 20% more than their female peers. On average, women at the crypto firm were paid 8% or $13,000 less than their male counterparts in 2018. According to New York time’s Nathaniel Popper;
“The pay disparities at Coinbase appear to be much larger than those in the tech industry as a whole, and at the few other tech companies that have had to release data,”
Coinbase with a swift response
Coinbase chief people officer L.J Brook was quick to respond to the allegations stating that the firm had done “significant work to ensure [Coinbase’s] pay-for-performance philosophy is transparent and fair” since 2018. He added that “all eligible employees “received at least 3% increase in compensation in early 2019 with pay targets being made transparent later that year. The response by Coinbase also reiterated a commitment to eliminate any bias.
“Coinbase is committed to ruthlessly eliminating bias in all our internal processes,” states the company blog. “We also recognize that it is best practice to regularly check our work, and while pay equity is critical at any stage of maturation, we believe that we have implemented the framework to ensure we are driving equitable outcomes.”
The exchange has a history with issues to do with race. Back in October, the company CEO Brian Armstrong said that company would adopt an “apolitical culture.” Exit packages were also offered to those who did not like the policy. The CEO later revealed that 5% of the company’s workforce planned to leave in reaction to the policy.
Taking a firm apolitical stance may have certain merits that improve the public’s perception of it, but glaring pay disparities based on gender and race does the opposite. The New York Times report will put the firm in an awkward position going forward.
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