Main image of article Parity for Some, But Tech Women's Pay Lags Overall

Women and men in technology have pay parity so long as they have similar job titles, experience and education. Despite that, women's pay still lags across the overall industry.

The reason, according to Dice's salary survey, is occupation: The top five positions held by women carry salaries that are largely below the top five held by men.



For example, the top jobs held by women -- project managers and business analysts -- earn an average $106,130 and $88,887 respectively. Compare that to the top occupations for men: Software engineers earn an average of $97,742, while systems administrators make $72,904.

Four out of the top five occupations for men carry salaries that exceed $90,000. For women, it's only one out of five.


Career Choices, or Not

It's not clear whether women take these jobs because of their interests or because of an institutional bias that results in their assignment to these roles. But it is clear that the proportion of women entering the IT workforce is tiny compared to men. The National Research Council’s Committee on Women in Science, Engineering and Medicine offered these sobering statistics:

  • More than 50 percent of all students going into four-year colleges are women.
  • But only 3 percent of all first-year students are women majoring in engineering.
  • Only 1 percent of all graduates who receive a four-year degree are women engineering majors.

The statistics are largely driven by the early influence of the students’ mothers, who may not be pushing their middle-school daughters to take elective courses that will put them onto math tracks in high school and college, said Catherine Didiona, the committee's director.

Given that the earning potential for software and security engineers is nearly in the six figures, that's too bad. Especially since women have shown they can be just as influential as men in most every area of IT, right up to the executive suite, as IBM's Ginni Rometty, Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, Hewlett-Packard's Meg Whitman, and Yahoo's Marissa Mayer will attest.