Main image of article Pay Gap for Women in Technology Persists, Despite Progress

A new report suggests that the gender pay gap in tech is beginning to close, although much work remains to be done.

According to that report, by Hired, male technologists “were offered higher salaries than women for the same job title and the same company” 59 percent of the time last year. That’s a slight decrease from 65 percent in 2019. On average, women made 2.5 percent less than their male counterparts in 2020, down from 4.4 percent in 2019.

Some 60 percent of women candidates also reported receiving “offers lower than the average for their position and years of experience in 2020, compared to 66 percent in 2019.” In terms of methodology, Hired drew from a sample dataset of 226,000 interview requests and job offers, supplemented by a self-reported survey that drew 2,000 responses.

Hired’s study echoes other findings about tech’s gender gap over the past few years. Dice has found that the pay differential varies state by state, exceeding $15,000 in some instances. In New York, women technologists make an average of $8,914 less than their male counterparts; in California, it’s $5,369. Pay differentials also exist by occupation, with women data scientists making $9,561 less on average than men; women software engineers earn an average of $8,559 less. 

The pay gap greatly impacts the morale of technologists who identify as women, according to Dice’s new Equality in Tech Report. Some 35 percent of women reported dissatisfaction with their current compensation, and 49 percent of women reported feeling underpaid relative to their male counterparts.

What will it take to close this gap? That’s an excellent question. Diversity officers and other executives suggest that transparency is a key element; unless you know the standard industry pay for your particular role, you can’t accurately determine whether you’re making what you deserve. Unfortunately, many companies are reluctant to share too much compensation information, especially with job candidates and current employees, although that’s beginning to change—in 2019, for example, Intel announced that it would release employee data broken down by race and gender.

Mentorship and education are also vital, since a more experienced technologist can often offer good advice about a colleague’s true worth. Having a strong network can also help technologists manage issues around their compensation (and negotiation for higher pay). Ultimately, though, companies may have to do more with regard to compensation openness if they want technologists of all genders to feel truly satisfied.