Volume 23, Number 13 -- April 1, 2013

Women With Skills Earn Equal Pay To Male Counterparts

Published: April 1, 2013

by Jenny Thomas

The IT marketplace should be on the frontline of innovation and business leadership amongst all other industries. Entrusted with caring for one of an organization's most valuable assets--data--the IT department is charged not only with the daily tasks of network administration, software development and installation, and maintaining, upgrading, and replacing hardware and software, it also sets the pace for success with the adoption of new technologies and finding better and faster ways to store, retrieve, transmit, and manipulate data.

So it seems natural that IT would be a leader in closing the gap in compensation between the sexes. And the latest salary survey from Dice, a career site for technology and engineering professionals, confirms and reaffirms a truth that has been constant in Dice analyses since 2009: With tech workers, the compensation gender gap has disappeared. Average salaries are equal for male and female tech pros, provided the comparison is between men and women with equal levels of experience and education and parallel job titles.

According to the 2013-2012 Dice salary survey, while men out-earned women overall by an average annual income of $95,929 to $87,527, the difference is driven by the fact that the two groups tend to hold different positions. Among the key findings of the survey was job title. It was reported that female IT workers were more prevalent in project manager positions, with males were more often employed as software engineers.

"When it comes to technology employment, it's a skills driven marketplace," said Tom Silver, senior vice president of Dice. "The ability to apply that know-how to a given problem remains the core of employment--why tech professionals get hired and how they are compensated."

Just a glance at the IT market shows the ladies hold a strong hand at all levels. IBM, HP, and Yahoo, amongst the heaviest hitters in IT, all have females at the helm. Of course, we're talking about a whole different level of compensation at that level. For instance, Ginni Rometty, chairman, president, and first female chief executive officer of IBM, was paid $16.1 million in 2012, including salary and stock awards, according to documents the company filed with the SEC.

It is interesting to note that last year, during Rometty's first full year as CEO, her predecessor, Sam Palmisano, earned far more than Rometty for serving 10 months as chairman. He took home $37 million, including more than $1.6 million in salary, $18.5 million in stock, a $13.8 million increase in pension benefits and over $2 million in "other" compensation. I'm having trouble working up much sympathy for anyone who has an annual paycheck with six zeros in it. Even at a mere $16 million, Rometty is doing her gender proud.

Back on planet Earth, the Dice survey also found that satisfaction with compensation was nearly identical, with 58 percent of women stating they were satisfied with their pay, as compared to 56 percent of their male counterparts.

The good news for IT job seekers is it doesn't appear that gender plays any role in whether you will get the job or what you will be paid; hiring in IT is all about the skills. Whether you agree or not, I think we can all agree that companies that treat men and women the same, from pay on down, create a world where talent flourishes.

The Dice salary survey was administered online with 15,049 employed technology professionals responding between September 24 and November 16, 2012. You can get more information here on the Dice website.


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Editor: Timothy Prickett Morgan
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik, Victor Rozek,
Jenny Thomas, Hesh Wiener, Alex Woodie
Publisher and Advertising Director: Jenny Thomas
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