Friday :: Feb 1, 2008

Tech Wage Gap Growing


by Turkana

In 2004, the Institute For Women's Policy Research released a report (pdf here) that began:

Women make only 75.5 cents for every dollar that men earn, according to a new release by the U.S. Census Bureau. Between 2002 and 2003, median annual earnings for full-time year-round women workers shrank by 0.6 percent, to $30,724, while men’s earnings remained unchanged, at $40,668. The 1.4 percent decrease in the gender wage ratio is the largest backslide in 12 years (since 1991). The 2003 Census data also show the first decline in women’s real earnings since 1995.

“Women continue to take a major hit in the on-going economic slowdown,” commented Dr. Heidi Hartmann, President of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. “No progress on the wage ratio has been made since 2001, and women actually lost ground this year. Falling real wages for women indicate a decline in the quality of their jobs. The economic recovery continues to disadvantage women by failing to provide strong job growth at all wage levels.”

There's not much to say about that. To any fair-minded person, the facts speak for themselves. And Computer World just reported on the IT sector:

Men are making more money than women in technology jobs, about 12% more than they did last year, according to a salary survey by career site Dice.com.

The survey found that salaries for men increased by 2.4% in 2007 but stayed flat for women. The average salary last year for men was $76,582, and for women, it was $67,507, according to Dice. The gap widened last year: In 2006, the difference between salaries paid to men and women was 9.7%.

Thomas Silver, senior vice president of marketing at Dice, which is part of Dice Holdings Inc. in New York, said employers need to look at the salary data, and if they have workers with comparable skills and experience doing comparable jobs, then "that gap needs to be closed."

Dice said it collected the salary data from more than 19,000 technology professionals who use its site. Respondents either filled out an online survey or replied to a request for information sent via e-mail. "We feel comfortable that what we're seeing here is in fact representative of what's happening in the marketplace," Silver said.

The gender gap, which Computerworld also found in its own salary survey late last year, was highest for tech workers in the retail, mail-order and e-commerce industries, with men making 15% more than women. The industry with the narrowest wage gap is manufacturing, at a 6.4% difference in salary.

(h/t Jessica at Feministing)

That earlier survey found this:

At the highest level of IT, male CIOs and vice presidents made on average $179,026 in total compensation this year, while women in the same jobs took in nearly $6,000 less, at $173,052. The pay differences between middle managers and technical workers are similarly unequal.

Various forms of the Paycheck Fairness Act have been introduced in the House and Senate, since 1997. All one need do is click on the list of Cosponsors to understand yet another reason why we need an even stronger Democratic Congress, next year. And in case anyone is wondering, Senator Clinton sponsored the current Senate version, while Senator Obama cosponsored it. Yet another reason why we need to elect one of them as president.

Turkana :: 10:44 AM :: Comments (16) :: Digg It!