NY Times report alleges history of pay discrimination at Coinbase

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San Francisco-based crypto exchange Coinbase may have had an issue with paying its employees fairly based on gender and race.

According to a report by New York Times journalist Nathaniel Popper, Coinbase Black paid around 7% less than people in similar positions, based on 2018 salary data. Across the company, the average was $ 11,500. Taking into account the company’s stock options, the gap between white and black employee compensation at Coinbase was closer to 11%.

The report also claims a gender pay gap. For example, level 1 male managers at Coinbase earned 20% more than their female counterparts. On average, women at the crypto firm got 8% or $ 13,000 less than their male counterparts in 2018.

“The wage differentials at Coinbase appear to be much larger than across the tech industry and the few other tech companies that have had to publish data,” wrote Popper.

Source: NY Times

Coinbase Chief People Officer LJ Brock was quick to respond to the allegations. In an internal company email posted on the Coinbase blog today, the company claimed it had “done significant work to ensure this.” [Coinbase’s] The pay-for-performance philosophy has been transparent and fair since 2018. He said that “all eligible employees” received at least a 3% increase in pay in early 2019 and that employee salary goals were made transparent later that year. The email also reported that the crypto firm’s headcount rose from 830 in 2018 to over 1,000 in 2020.

“Coinbase has set itself the task of ruthlessly eliminating distortions in all of our internal processes,” says the company blog. “We also understand that it is a good practice to review our work regularly. While equal pay is critical at every stage of maturation, we believe we have implemented the framework to ensure that we get fair results. “

The exchange was already in the spotlight for questions about the race. In October, CEO Brian Armstrong said the company would introduce an “apolitical culture” and offer exit packages to any employee who disagrees with the policy. Armstrong said 60 employees were planning to leave in response to the announcement, which is roughly 5% of Coinbase’s workforce at the time.