The IT Paycheck Battle of The Sexes

Hey ladies -- if you're out there -- take a look at these numbers. You're earning about 86 cents for every dollar your male IT counterpart makes. (But you sort of knew that already, didn't you?)

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee, Senior Writer, InformationWeek

May 2, 2007

3 Min Read

Hey ladies -- if you're out there -- take a look at these numbers. You're earning about 86 cents for every dollar your male IT counterpart makes. (But you sort of knew that already, didn't you?)And of course, I'm joking. I know there are women IT pros out there who are working as hard as any male tech colleague. There are just fewer of you -- and you already knew that, too, right?

But perhaps if you examine the latest salary figures from our recent InformationWeek Research National IT Salary Survey of 7,281 IT professionals, you'll wonder (again) why there aren't more women in the IT profession.

That's because while any pay disparity between genders doing the same quality work is unjust, the pay gap between men and women in IT is smaller than it is in many other fields. So, in other words, the pay for the fairer sex in IT is, well, fairer.

If you're a female IT manager, the pay gap is even smaller. You're earning about 92 cents for every dollar a male IT manager makes, according to our survey. (That 86-cent figure mentioned above pertains to female IT staff.)

But that also brings us to another set of survey figures that reflect the other reality I mentioned. While there were 6,200 male IT professionals who participated in our Web-based salary poll that took place in February and March, there were only 1,081 female IT pros who responded.

Nationally, women across all fields earn only about 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, according to new research report by the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation.

And while you may suspect that the pay gap between men and women is smaller in IT because IT is a male-dominated profession, you're right -- to an extent. But that's not the case for all occupations where men out-number women. According to the AAUW, in mathematics -- another guy-dominated field -- women made only 76 cents for each dollar earned by a male counterpart. That gap is worse than the national average.

When it comes to starting a career, women in IT also fare better than women entering many other fields, according to the AAUW. For instance, one year after graduation, women in computer science earn 37% more than women in female-dominated fields, such as education, legal support, and administration, says the AAUW report.

While the pay parity in IT is better than it is in many occupations, most women continue to avoid it as a profession. Why is that? What do you think?

(By the way, regardless of gender, your career (and paycheck) could progress significantly if you keep in mind some of the tips we offer up in our new How-To IT Career Guide. Check it out.)

2007 Salary Survey Resources & Blogs

2007 Salary Survey

The Average Tech Manager Makes $105,000, Our Salary Survey Finds.
Have Tech Jobs Bounced Back?
How-To IT Career Guide: 7 Critical Strategies, From Getting Started To Semi-Retiring Salary Adviser Tool
Blog: Is The Tech Job Market Better? Our Data Says 'Yes'
Blog: Age is Just a Number, Or Is it?
Blog: The IT Pay-Check Battle of The Sexes
Blog: Tips To Offshore-Proof Your Tech Career

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About the Author(s)

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee

Senior Writer, InformationWeek

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee is a former editor for InformationWeek.

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