SHE Matters

The Wage Gap in Tech: No Industry is Immune

We know that the gender wage gap exists, and we know it’s not going to manifest in exactly the same way for women of different races or socioeconomic backgrounds.

But how might their job fit into the larger picture?

The Inconsistence of Industries

The pay gap won’t look the same between any two working women, seeing as the industry they work in may largely dictate just how large the gap is — as well as whether or it will begin to close or widen further over time.

For example, in the food service industry, Statista reports that women make a median earning of about $521 per week, whereas men make approximately $617 per week in the same position.

But this gap is still relatively small compared to other industries, particularly if they are considered male-dominated.

That being said, “male-dominated fields — like tech, for example — tend to pay better than ones where women make up the majority, regardless of the level of skill or experience required for the roles,” CodeAcademy points out.

But that doesn’t mean that the pay gap doesn’t exist for women in these fields at an even wider gap than others. Let’s take a look at IT, for example…

It’s All in the Numbers

Oftentimes, the problems may start on Day 1. In fact, “59% of the time, men were offered higher salaries than women for the same job title at the same company in 2020, compared to 65% in 2019,” a report by Hired revealed.

And when women start at a financial disadvantage compared to their male colleagues, the difference adds up and only makes it increasingly difficult to catch up for the duration of their career.

“Median total compensation for female IT pros in 2021 was $105,000, the same as it was in 2020,” as reported by InformationWeek. That compares to the median total compensation for male IT pros of $128,000 in 2021, up from $125,000 in 2020.”

Thus, even those women in the revered STEM field may still struggle to earn the salary that matches their overall skill, experience, and expertise.

Where the Problem STEMs From

There are numerous factors that contribute to the overall gender wage gap — the likes of which often intersect with race — but what may contribute to the gap in technology, specifically?

“Stanford researchers who studied this disparity discovered that there is in fact one credential that separates these new hires: self-confidence,” according to the Stanford Graduate School of Business. “Employers in engineering and computer science fields appear to offer higher starting salaries to applicants who present as self-assured, and those applicants are mostly men.”

In other words, employers are more likely to judge a candidate’s productivity and success based on a slight behavioral difference while in the interview room… the likes of which have nothing to do with their actual competence.

This may be especially concerning as research suggests female students demonstrate less overall confidence in both math and science compared to their male classmates.

Thus, it is increasingly important that we support female students and entry-level women in STEM to ensure they can advance in their careers just as successfully as men. Between confidence and competency, women are worth just as much as their male colleagues.

If you have further thoughts, questions, or suggestions on salary negotiations, we’d love to hear from you!

Please reach out to us or visit our S.H.E. Matters page to send in a submission for our review, and stay tuned here for more information!