Tech & Work

Pay discrepancy between men and women in IT is a real kick in the skirt

Several years ago, I "learned" about the salary discrepancy between men and women. I thought that this kick in the skirt was just something for those of us women who are privileged to live in the United States. According to a recent story by CNET Network's News.com, I guess I was wrong. Furthermore, these women aren't taking it lightly. Check out the article: "<a href="http://www.news.com/2100-1022_3-6206078.html" title="British women in tech jobs" target="_blank">British women in tech jobs: I quit</a>."

Several years ago, I "learned" about the salary discrepancy between men and women. I thought that this kick in the skirt was just something for those of us women who are privileged to live in the United States. According to a recent story by CNET Network's News.com, I guess I was wrong. Furthermore, these women aren't taking it lightly. Check out the article: "British women in tech jobs: I quit."

As you could probably guess from the title, women in the U.K. are getting fed up with their IT jobs, or at least that's what the research efforts from the Chartered Management Institute and pay researcher Remuneration Economics show. Here are some of the stats:

  • 5.7 percent of women working in IT resigned from their roles in 2006, a rise of 2.1 percent from the previous year
  • Women saw an average pay rise of 2.9 percent, compared to a 3.1 percent increase for men (this is the first time in 11 years that men's earnings have risen more than women's)

The National Management Salary Survey, however, found that "British female managers enjoy faster promotion than men, with a 37-year-old woman working as a team leader typically five years younger than her male counterpart."

Women are also more likely to receive a bonus than men, with just less than half in the IT sector (46.5 percent) receiving one-off bonus payments in 2006, compared to 30.8 percent of men. But these bonuses tend to be about 30 percent lower than men's—and make up a lower proportion of the total pay packet.

Jo Causon, director of marketing and corporate affairs at CMI, said gender bias appears to be getting worse because the increased likelihood of promotion is not reflected in parity of pay.

If you are an IT manager, how do you carefully balance salaries, promotions, pay increases, and bonuses between the men and women on your team in order to avoid gender bias?

About

Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the several blogs.

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