Tech’s pay gap problem continues

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Awarenes of gender inequality is good. Sorting it out would be better

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Billy

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6 July 2017 | 0

Billy MacInnesJudging by the results of a survey on gender pay gaps in different industry sectors in the UK, the technology industry has some small reasons to be pleased with itself. It’s true that there’s no cause for celebration in the fact the survey, by salary benchmarking site Emolument.com, found there was a 15% pay gap between men and women in the technology & telecoms sector. While that’s nowhere near as bad as some other industries, such as financial services (30%) and consulting & professional services (20%), it’s still a big gap from £48,000 to £41,000.

So why should technology & telecoms have reason to view these results positively? The answer is to be found in employee perceptions of the gender pay gap. Now, it might be damning rather than praiseworthy that, with the exception of manufacturing & industrials, technology & telecoms is the only sector where 100% of women believe there is a gender gap. In other sectors, such as real estate, financial services, public sector & education, the figure hovers around the 80% mark.

But the figures show women are fully cognisant of the fact a pay gap exists in technology and telecoms because there is no difference between the reality and their perception. This is very unlike the consulting & professional services sector where only 67% of women think there is a gender pay gap even though the reality is there is a 20% difference between pay levels for men and women.

Doesn’t that just demonstrate the gender pay gap is more obvious in the technology & telecoms sector – or, to put it another way, employers are not as good at disguising the fact? Well, to be fair, it does show that. How do we know? By looking at the number of men who believe there is a gender gap. Whereas the figure for consulting & professional services is only 29% and it’s as low as 22% in real estate, the number for men in the technology & telecoms sector is 59%. That’s the highest out of all the sectors.

While some employers might not agree, having a majority of men believe there is a gender pay gap in your industry sector is a good thing, particularly if there is a gender pay gap in your industry sector. As the gender pay gap is nearly always in terms of women being paid less than men, it’s a good thing when a majority of men recognise that it exists. Once all sides of an issue are aware it exists, they can usually start to do something about it.

As Alice Leguay, co-founder and COO at Emolument.com puts it, if employees of both sexes perceive inequality as an issue that’s “a sign it is being addressed”.

The battle appear to be already half-won in technology & telecoms. Sadly, but possibly unsurprisingly, we can’t say the same for real estate or consulting & professional services.

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