In 2023, women still fight for the right to an equal salary, even though the Equal Pay Act was passed more than fifty years ago. The inequality of wages can be vividly traced to the tech industry, which white males primarily dominate. We looked deeper into how women fight the pay gap in the tech industry, the common causes, and the potential solutions that could change the world.
Gender Pay Gap: A Quick Overview
According to a recent study in the UK, the tech industry gender pay gap was 16% in 2022, significantly higher than the national average of 11.6%. Yet, it doesn’t mean women are paid less for the same job: "These figures suggest that men are dominating the top-paying jobs and women are not senior." Nevertheless, the data suggest positive traction in reducing the pay gap in the tech industry, at least in the United Kingdom. For instance, in 2021, the metric was 17.3%, based on the study results.
At the end of 2022, the latest data revealed that 26.7% of women hold tech-related positions, which is 2.1% lower than in previous years. At the same time, more and more companies hired women for tech roles; the metric increased by 1.5%, from 29.4% in 2020 to 30.9% in 2021. The statistical data creates a paradox, as 2.1% of women left tech-related positions, and 1.5% of women joined the tech workforce; - it does not balance and needs further investigation.
Reasons behind the Gender Pay Gap
One of the underlying reasons could be discrimination. For instance, in October 2022, TechCrunch conducted a survey emphasizing that "67% of European women in tech feel underpaid compared to men, and half experience sexism." On top of that, the pay gap is even more significant for black and Hispanic women, at approximately 63%, whereas for white women, it is averaging 20%.
The lack of diversity is another common issue in the tech industry. In 2022, LinkedIn emphasized that only 28% of women worldwide work in the tech sector, a significantly low percentage compared to 72% of men. According to the report, even in the most prominent companies in the United States that promote inclusion and diversity, such as Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Microsoft, only 34.4% of women hold tech positions.
Can the gender pay gap be solved?
While there is no easy solution to resolve the gender pay gap in the tech industry, it still exists and requires the efforts of several individuals, not just one enthusiastic person.
One possible solution is the EU Pay Transparency Directive, published by the European Commission in late December 2022. According to the document, key measures include paying transparency for job-seekers, the right to information for employees, reporting on the gender pay gap, joint pay assessment, and better access to justice for victims of pay discrimination. In other words, it would provide an overview of the pay ranges within the company and allow employees, especially women, to negotiate a better contract.
Corporations can invest in education and training regarding the gender pay gap and promote diversity and inclusion. But, as we can see, this approach works slower than we hoped.
Equal pay policies are another initiative corporations could implement in their strategy. For instance, they could conduct regular pay audits to identify and address any raised cases, and they could conduct regular pay audits to identify and address issues raised. This is one of the most realistic approaches without breaking laws and with a high effectiveness indicator.
The gender pay gap in the tech industry is a persistent problem requiring concerted efforts from individuals, companies, and policymakers. Although progress may be slow, it is possible to close the gender pay gap in the tech industry with sustained effort and commitment from all stakeholders.
Bonus: actionable tips for women in tech!
We gathered some actionable tips for women in tech to fight the gender pay gap, check if the employer offers equal financial compensation, and learn more than their male colleagues. Let’s get started on that!
Research industry standards
Before applying to the role, it is crucial to research the industry standards for the position, experience, and location. The most efficient way is to use online salary calculators or ask for advice from industry experts, including professional associations or networks.
By doing that, you would determine if the salary is in the range or below it.
Ask for transparency
During the interview, you can ask the HR representative about the company’s pay structure, including how they determine salaries and potential bonuses.
If you are already employed, ask your manager about transparency and some information on your colleagues' salaries with similar job roles.
Negotiate your salary
Addressing all the issues and highlighting the desired salary based on your skills, experience, and performance is essential when negotiating your salary. Our tip: use your research on industry standards to make a compelling case for why you deserve fair compensation.
Don’t focus on your gender. Focus on yourself as a professional.
Networking is one of the most efficient and effective tools in 2023. For instance, you can join a network of women in tech to share experiences, including challenges and successes. It could be a valuable source of knowledge, support, and advice on dealing with all potential gender gap problems.
Remember, by speaking up and advocating for equal pay, you can help drive positive change in the tech industry!