‘Yes’ to More Women in Tech to Close the Gender Pay Gap
Pay inequality applies to various groups of people, often affecting groups of workers based on disability, skin color, or gender differences. Many companies don’t measure it and we often don’t see it, but it continues to slow down much of the progress that has been made for gender equality.
Let’s take the gender discrimination issue apart, see what is the gender pay gap, and how more women in tech can make a difference!
First of all, what is the gender pay gap?
The gender pay gap is often misinterpreted as simply a question of how much men and women are paid in the same job. In reality, this is a much broader issue.
The Gender Pay Gap is an average comparison of men’s and women’s average earnings in the workforce, it’s not about two people who do similar work, nor does it take into consideration education level, experience, and other characteristics.
How to calculate the gender pay gap?
One way in which the gender pay gap is calculated is by taking a median or mean reading of earnings data for men and women.
The medians are derived from the usual pay that employees receive in an organization.
If women and men receive exactly the same pay, the gender pay gap would be zero.
How bad is the Gender Wage Gap in 2021?
Currently, gender inequality statistics indicate that the global gender pay gap is estimated at 23%. This implies that women earn 77 cents for every dollar that men earn in the same job.
Women earn 77 cents for every dollar earn for work of equal value | @Gurvi Movement
The pandemic is only amplifying the issue
A majority of the labor force who were laid off during the pandemic were women.
The coronavirus pandemic has also revealed the vulnerability of women to domestic violence; with fewer household earnings, many families have been put under increasing financial and social pressure.
Women can’t solve gender equality alone
All of the things that will make a collective difference require men to be informed and onboard. There are a few things that women can do independently, like negotiate and support each other.
We will take a look at how women can challenge themselves to challenge the status quo and the benefits of doing such a thing. 👇
Gender pay gap and government policy
Recent research has suggested gender inequality can only be resolved through government policy. This includes companies implementing pay disclosure, audits, and other systemic change.
Countries leading the world in achieving gender parity
In Iceland, it is illegal to pay women less than men and New Zealand just passed a new law that makes it easier for women to make pay equity claims.
This means if they feel like their male counterparts with different jobs that provide equal value are getting paid more, then they have the right to make a claim, and the judge may order reparations.
Contributing factors of a gender pay gap
The inequalities present in our society are often carried over to the professional world, and this is reflected in the way in which most companies promote, recruit, support, and educate their workforce.
Organizations commonly overlook the root cause of gender pay gaps in their organizational review.
Symptoms of a larger more embedded cultural issue include:
→ Poor communication;
→ Lack of coherent policy implementation that protects women;
→ Individual behaviors affecting women;
→ Difficulty in staff retention;
→ Inefficient leadership styles;
→ Racial or sexual discrimination.
Typically, in the tech industry, these traits can be exhibited as a “bro culture” or “geek culture”.
Here, things like bias, personal beliefs towards oneself or others, religion, cultural values, the gender gap in education, and/or toxic cultural trends remain prevalent, unchallenged and hence unnoticed.
Gender Gap in STEM 2021 – Gender Wage Gap Statistics in STEM field | @Gurvi Movement
Closing the gender gap in tech – Is the solution more women?
Earnings data suggests many of the best paid jobs today are in the Science Technology (STEM) and Engineering industries, though women are employed in only 1 in 5 of these jobs.
When it comes to women of color in tech, the gender gap is far worse. This difference has been described as ‘Occupational segregation’ which points out that women are naturally going into lower-paying fields which are traditionally dominated by women and don’t give them many opportunities to earn higher wages.
There is evidence to suggest that more women in information technology (IT), which is traditionally a male gender stronghold in the labor force, will likely improve gross earnings for women as a whole and therefore may reduce the gender pay gap.
Women still earn less than men in tech jobs too
However, a study also reveals women in the tech industry may still face a gender pay gap compared to men, despite women working in tech receiving higher earnings than women in other fields (Miller & Vagins, 2018).
An analysis between men and women workers shows women are still making less than men in the same tech job.
Not every single job in IT is dominated by men
It is worth noting that not every single job in IT is male-dominated.
For example, 90 percent of employees working in data science are men, yet design typically employs far more women.
A study released by the National Endowment for the Arts found that 54 percent of designers were women.
This doesn’t mean that there is an equal labor force participation of women in executive-level roles in work like design, even though the gender gap is small when looking at the entire labor force.
Many of these women are not in the c-suite unlike their male counterparts and therefore, do not make as much in lifetime earnings as men at the top, contributing to the gender pay gap.
Why say ‘Yes!’ to more women learning technical skills
While there is no ‘one size fits all’ to achieve equal pay for women, and the gender pay gap is not just for women to solve, there may be some things women can do that will make a difference.
IT skills are highly sought after across many industries, not just tech. If you are a lawyer, HR professional, or psychologist, or professional services, having advanced level IT skills and experience will give women a competitive edge and could accelerate higher overall lifetime earnings trends.
Say ‘YES’ to gender equality
Factors that can also benefit society when women work in the tech industry
#1 Diverse perspectives create inclusive products
In addition to leading to higher wages, women need to be behind the design and development of products and services that they use: this helps make sure these solutions are helpful and not harmful to women and do not perpetuate gender discrimination or create barriers for women.
#2 Reducing bias in the products we use
Many of the tools that we use in today’s world that are developed with AI or machine learning have the potential for bias and gender discrimination and unless we have diversity in perspectives and backgrounds developing them, they can cause major damage to the progress being made.
For example, an algorithm, that produces ads on a website that sources from biased data, may display cleaning ads or job roles on the site with a stock photo of women cleaning, or perhaps the site will share a picture of white men in a business suit for an advertisement for a c-suite summit.
#3 A better representation
These same biased representations may cause some women to choose lower-paying and more traditionally women-dominated roles as they enter the workforce. You can be what you can’t see.
This widens the gender pay gap and making it difficult to even envision reaching executive-level, even if that’s what they want.
Women in Tech Quote: “If you don’t see it, you can’t be it.” | @Gurvi Movement
#4 A more fair and competitive experience
Being equipped with technical skills can set employees apart from others and provide people with a solid understanding of what they are capable of – this will make salary negotiation much easier and more effective and pay discrimination harder to hide!
In today’s global and increasingly remote economy, it can also allow women to have more opportunities for jobs where they aren’t solely judged by factors like their ability to be physically present at the office.
#5 The difference accessibility makes
The increasing trends in technology and distance learning services now give women access to low-cost and flexible education.
Many of the skills offered online are technical skills. This is great because it can allow women to study and gain high-wage job qualifications without the need to pay for a very costly and formal four-year course of study, or postgraduate school.
More women in tech = more freedom over our careers and lifestyles
#6 Work from anywhere
If women employees have more technical skills, they have more autonomy over where and when they work. This is a major benefit for achieving a work-life balance while women wait for corporate culture to tackle the root causes of gender discrimination at work and catch up to the changes needed that support equal pay.
Take the leap! This can be an opportunity to start gaining remote work experience as a freelance, self-employed entrepreneur, or even for the more adventurous, as a digital nomad.
Learn technical skills online
Online learning platforms are one of the fastest-growing trends for upskilling
Organizations such as Gurvi Movement can offer 1:1 courses in UI UX design from scratch, digital project management, and skills for entrepreneurs. All of which are supported by experienced women mentors who work in the tech industry.
Online flexibility breaks down many barriers for women especially the cash barrier
Some people may not have the funds to pay for university or come from countries or cultures that are known for gender discrimination and human rights issues when it comes to supporting higher education for women.
Student debt? No thanks
Through online access, Gurvi Movement also helps eliminate the need for student debt – which is one of the biggest deterring factors for people in countries like the United States to continue to learn skills that will improve earnings.
Bottom Line – So what difference will more women in tech do?
Women may skill up in data analytics while on parental leave in order to come back more competitive in their marketing jobs.
Women who dream to travel the world can have the skills that allow them to work from wherever they want, so even if they have to move for the family, it’s a win-win.
Maybe some women don’t want to rely on others or don’t have the wages to hire other employees to help them launch their own business or website, so they learn HTML and other development tools themselves to create a website that can host their online business.
More power, more earnings, more freedom over our careers and lifestyles.
For each of us, as we venture into new, industries dominated by men, we are also inching towards progress for greater prosperity and equality for all women.
Let’s start this journey together today! 💪
Miller, K., & Vagins, D. J. (2018). The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap. Washington D.C.: AAUW.
Do you want to learn in-demand digital skills, and connect with our experienced female mentors? We want to hear from you!
Discover our 1:1 Online Courses or contact Gurvi Movement.
Hi, I’m Amanda! I’m a corporate responsibility and certified diversity expert who’s passionate about tech, driven to uncouple us from traditional setbacks for equality through innovative avenues. I channel that passion through my everyday career, and in writing londerwust.com