The days of women in IT enjoying the same earning power as men still remain some way off, with female workers continuing to earn thousands less than their male colleagues every year.

According to research published today by the Chartered Institute of Management (CMI), the IT sector has the largest pay gap of any industry.

The difference between the typical annual salary of men and women working in the IT industry currently stands at £17,736, with women working in IT earning an average of £32,751 compared to £50,487 for men, the research found.

Women in IT are however seeing a better rate of pay increase than their male counterparts, with average salaries growing by 2.1 per cent compared to 1.4 per cent for men in the past 12 months. However, at these rates, it will take 63 years for women to catch up.


The pay gap between men and women IT is the largest of any industry
(Photo credit: Shutterstock)

In the lower level IT jobs, the pay gap is smaller, with junior-level female workers earning £19,068, compared to £20,187 for men.

However the gap widens for more senior positions with function heads earning significantly more (£91,639) if they are men than women (£80,766).

“We know that there are problems with female managers reaching the upper levels of organisations but it’s clear that that’s particularly acute in the IT sector still,” Patrick Woodman, policy and research manager at CMI, told

The implications of IT’s gender pay gap continuing are serious, according to Woodman, as employers are risking alienating talented women.

“Where we’ve got talented female managers, if they have a sense that they are being unfairly treated, then they will vote with their feet or worse take direct action [such as] tribunals to deal with that,” Woodman said.

“If [the pay gap] creates an impression that the sector is unwelcoming to women that will only perpetuate the problems that exist and rob IT companies of talented individuals who could be contributing to their success,” he added.

The CMI found that engineering has the lowest gender pay gap at £2,433, despite also having a low proportion of women working in the industry. Woodman said there is a fairer approach to pay in this sector which IT could learn from.