A few months ago IT Business Edge contributor Don Tennant wrote about a Computerworld salary survey that showed the gender wage gap in IT remained firmly in place in 2009. Some examples: Female application development managers made 7 percent less than their male counterparts, and female CIOs made 16 percent less than the men.
Don wondered if the pay disparity had anything to do with a growth in female technology executives found by Sheila Greco Associates. According to the recruiting firm, the percentage of female CIOs and executive vice presidents of technology rose to 16.4 percent in 2009, compared to 12 percent in 2007. Wrote Don:
When women are clearly equally capable and you can pay them 16 percent less, why wouldn't you pad the upper echelons with as many women as availability will allow?
Don wasn't suggesting companies should cut costs by promoting more women. The rest of his post discussed the need to hold employers accountable for the gender wage disparity.
He mentioned the Paycheck Fairness Act which, among other things, would create requirements for the Department of Labor to enhance outreach and training efforts to work with employers to eliminate pay disparities and to continue to collect and disseminate wage information based on gender. The bill was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last year and is now under review by the Senate. President Obama last month called on the Senate to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, calling it "a common sense bill that will help ensure that men and women who do equal work receive equal pay."
The United States isn't the only country where female IT pros earn less than their male peers. According to a just-published report from the Chartered Institute of Management (CMI), the IT sector has the largest pay gap of any industry in the UK. The report found British women working in IT earn an average of 32,751 (approximately US$50,600) vs.50,487 (about US$78,000) for men, reports silicon.com.
Much as in the United States, the pay gap is smaller for junior-level female IT pros, who earn 19,068 (about US$29,500), compared to 20,187 (US$31,200) for men. Males in senior positions earn much more (91,639 or US$141,600), however, than their female counterparts (80,766 or US$124,800).