Tech & Work

Wage discrepancies between women and men may surprise you

By that title, I'm not talking about the fact that, historically and on average, women make lower salaries than men performing the same job do. I'm talking about what appears to be a new trend, if you can believe a recent analysis completed by the Department of Sociology at Queens College in New York.The report, released August 3, indicates that salaries of full-time female employees in their 20s have surpassed the same-aged males in urban areas like Chicago, Boston, Minneapolis, Dallas and New York. However, women's salaries lagged behind in areas like Arkansas, Louisiana and West Virginia. According to a piece in eWeek, women in their '20s earned 17 percent more than their male counterparts, and in Dallas, they earned 20 percent more.

But what about IT workers?

Dice, the IT staffing firm, released a report in January that indicated women in IT earned on average 9.7 percent less than men in 2006.

"This narrowed slightly from the year prior when the difference was 10.9 percent. The IT gender gap was largest among database administrators, at 15 percent."

But when the report delved into specific job titles, the news was a little different. Women with job titles such as help desk professionals earned an average 4.8 percent more than their male counterparts, and technical writers 2.5 percent more. Female CEOs, CIOs, chief technology officers, vice presidents, and directors earned 1.4 percent more than male IT executives.

While in the sources I saw, this latter piece of news was considered promising, I have to wonder, though. I think wage discrepancies between the sexes are bad, no matter who comes out ahead. A man and a woman doing the same job should be paid the same.


Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

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