Shockingly, recent studies have revealed that women are worth a staggering £17,736 less than men in the technology sector, which equates to one hell of a gender pay gap; a chasm may be a more appropriate term!
The Pay Gap chasm
The average salary for men in senior positions in the tech industry is £50,487, whereas women in senior tech positions (if they ever make it that far, but we’ll get to that later) only earn an average of £32,751.
What’s even more astonishing is what women could buy with this whopping £17,736 that they are unfortunately being overlooked for. In 12 months, this representative gender pay gap could pay for healthcare, utility bills, work lunches, mortgage payments, car maintenance, and pension contributions. As an added luxury, you could also afford to pay someone else to take your canine companion for a walk every day!
The same study also revealed that despite the fact women have received an average pay rise of 1% compared to men; most working females will never receive the same pay as men in their lifetime. This is because it is estimated that it will take another 60 years for men and women to be on an even salary playing field in the tech industry.
This works out at a difference in pay of £709,440 over 40 years of work, which equates to either buying 3 houses or feeding your neighbours for 20 years (if you are feeling particularly generous). Alternatively, you could make a massive contribution into your pension fund; guaranteeing you the luxury of shopping in Marks and Spencer for the rest of your days.
Or you could treat yourself to a new car every single year and treat your pet to the life of an a-list celebrity by employing the services of a live in pet nanny.
There is no solid explanation for this slightly alarming revelation, but it one possible explanation could be that is is due to workplace culture.
For example, the I.T. industry is currently perceived as a predominantly male industry. This can then be culturally transmitted into universities, meaning the I.T. industry may not be geared towards young female graduates, and also that women may not be taken seriously in technical roles.
Similarly, some reports into organisational behaviour have suggested that sexism is still pervasive in certain sectors of the I.T. industry; the same reports also suggest that any woman that has wished to climb the corporate I.T. ladder has had to sacrifice her ‘femininity’ in order to do so. Paradoxically, this has lead to certain females being alienated for not fulfilling the cultural stereotype of a ‘normal woman’.
Conversely, due to the fact that the I.T. industry is primarily geared towards males, females can sometimes be overlooked for senior I.T. roles, because past experience has led people to believe that males are more suited to these particular types of job roles.
Distressingly, culture in the workplace is an intangible element, meaning it can take up to 10 years to change. Moreover, culture change needs to be transmitted from the top-down; whilst men are occupying 64 of the 79 board positions available in the top 8 tech companies, there may be some resistance to change for the near future at least.
Posted by Craig Bradshaw on 6th February, 2013