Technology professionals have higher salaries overall
In San Francisco, which is a leading are for top pay in tech, health care, and finance, even for new grads the pay is rising faster than other areas. Annual full-time salaries in San Francisco increased by an average of 2.8% from the first quarter of 2014 to 2015, whereas nationally the increase was only 1.8% during the same time.
Glassdoor’s top three highest-paying positions in the City are all in tech, according to Brianna McGurran of NerdWallet, who has writes that data scientist’s earn $127,000 a year, software engineers $103,000, and database administrators $77,000.
Healthcare and finance are big business paying well in San Francisco, and not surprisingly there’s a lot of innovative interplay between tech and finance with great opportunities in EdTech, eLearning, eCommerce, ePayments, and … well if you can imagine it, there’s probably a Bay Area startup working on it. While tech startups don’t always have the highest base salary, the equity component is often very attractive.
Women in tech are lagging in number
Women make up 57% of the workforce and earn 57% of the undergraduate degrees in the U.S. and yet they only represent 25% of computing occupations, 20% of CIO positions at Fortune 250 companies, and 18% of computer science degrees.
There are many reasons that women are not attracted to tech or motivated to stay, ranging from culture to logistics. A Quartz article The tech industry’s woman problem: Statistics show it’s worse than you think tries to quantify the problem that is obfuscated by many tech companies. Tech Republic’s article IT gender gap: Where are the female programmers? discusses a great number of potential reasons.
And women’s salaries are lagging too
Tech Republic’s The state of women in technology: 15 data points you should know article reports that women who work in computer and mathematical occupations make 84 cents to every dollar a man earns. The delta is $214 per weekly paycheck, or $11,128 per year for the same roles (and just 4 cents per dollar more than the national average of 80 cents to every dollar a man earns).
And yet, women are leading adopters in many technologies, and there are many women tech entrepreneurs and leaders. “[W]omen-operated, venture-backed high tech companies average 12 percent higher annual revenues. They also use on average one-third less capital than male counterparts’ startups,” according to the We Need More Women in Tech: The Data Prove It article in The Atlantic.
How to overcome?
There are many ways to address the gender imbalance in the tech workforce and tech salary inequality. Here are just a few examples:
- Initiatives to motivate women to join the tech workforce from a young age such as Girls who Code.
- Taking cases of gender discrimination to the courts such as Ellen Pao did against the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, makes the discussion more active.
- Pao has gone on to employ another method in an attempt to make salaries gender-blind. As Reddit’s interim chief executive she has banned salary negotiations during the hiring process.
- The celebration of women tech entrepreneurial heroes, a great example from the National Center for Women and Information Technology.
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