‘Yes’ to More Women in Tech to Close the Gender Pay Gap
Pay inequality applies to various groups of people, often based on external signs such as disability, skin color, or gender.
Let’s take this issue apart and see just 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 men and womens’ pay.
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.
The pandemic is only amplifying the issue as a majority of those who were laid off during the pandemic are women.
Lockdown has also revealed women’s vulnerability to domestic violence; with less money available this has led to many families being put under increasing financial and social pressure.
Besides, during the covid-19 pandemic, the increase in household work put a strain on women’s ability to manage work and life at home in families where the women are expected to take care of chores.
Stem gender gap statistics 2021 | @Gurvi Movement
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.
Scandinavian countries lead the world in achieving gender parity such as Iceland, where it is illegal to pay women less than men.
What are the reasons for gender pay gap in tech?
The inequalities present in our society are often carried over to the professional world, and this is reflected in the way in which most tech companies promote, recruit, support and educate their workforce.
Organizations commonly overlook gender pay gaps for lack of consistent organizational review. This might reveal:
→ Poor communication;
→ Lack of coherent policy implementation;
→ Individual behavior;
→ 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”, where things like bias, personal beliefs towards oneself or others, religion, cultural values, 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
Could the solution be to get more women in tech?
Many of the best paid jobs today are in the STEM and computer science industries, though women are employed in only 1 in 5 of these positions.
When it comes to women of color in tech, the representation is far worse. This discrepancy has been described as ‘Occupational segregation’.
There is now evidence to suggest that more females in information technology, which is traditionally a male stronghold for employment, will likely improve wages for women as a whole and reduce the gender pay gap.
Women in the tech industry may still face a gender pay gap compared to men, despite women working in tech receiving higher salaries than women in other fields (Miller & Vagins, 2018).
It is worth noting that not every single job in IT is male-dominated.
For example, 90 percent of those 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 proportion in leadership roles for these fields, which can likely contribute to a pay gap.
Why say ‘Yes!’ to more women learning technical skills
While there is no ‘one size fits all’ to reduce gender inequality, 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, having advanced level IT skills will give you a competitive edge, and could lead to a high paying professional career.
Here are some other benefits of getting more women in the tech industry:
Diverse perspectives create inclusive products
In addition to leading to higher salaries, women need to be behind the design and development of products that they use: this helps make sure these solutions are helpful and not harmful to women’s prosperity.
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 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 without specific directions in place or that sources from bias data, may display cleaning ads with a stock photo of a woman cleaning or match a picture of a white male in a business suit for an advertisement for a CEO summit.
These biased representations can perpetuate the causes of women choosing lower-paying and more traditionally female-dominated roles as they enter the workforce.
A more fair and competitive edge
Being equipped with technical skills can set you apart from others and provide you with a solid understanding of what you are capable of – this will make salary negotiation much easier and more effective!
In today’s global and increasingly remote economy, it can also allow you to have more opportunities for jobs where you aren’t solely judged by your ability to be physically present at the office, but instead, your actual skill set.
Accessibility = prosperity
The increase in technology and distance learning now gives women access to low-cost and flexible education.
Many of the skills offered online are technical skills, allowing women to gain qualifications that will enable them to apply for many jobs without the need for a very costly formal four-year course of study, or postgraduate qualification.
Online learning platforms are fast growing in popularity so that 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 females mentors who work in the tech industry.
This online flexibility breaks down many of the barriers for those that may not have the funds to pay for university, or who come from countries or cultures that do not support higher education for women.
Through online access Gurvi Movement helps eliminate the need for student debt – which is a major issue in countries like the USA.
If women 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 we wait for corporate culture to catch up to the changes that support working families.
This can be an opportunity to start a remote career as a freelance, self-employed entrepreneur, or even for the more adventurous, as a digital nomad.
So what difference will more women in tech do?
We may learn data analytics while on parental leave in order to come back more competitive in our marketing career.
We may be the trailing spouse whose partner lands the job of his dreams somewhere far away, but we are ready to travel the world because our skills allow us to work from wherever we want.
Maybe we don’t want to rely on others to build things for us, while we launch our own business so we learn HTML and SEO ourselves.
Whoever we are, picking up a digital skill-set will give us more power, more autonomy and freedom over our career and lifestyles. 💪
For each of us, as we venture into new, male dominated industries, we are also inching towards progress for greater prosperity and equality for all women. Let’s start this journey together today!
Women in Tech Quote: “If you don’t see it, you can’t be it.” | @Gurvi Movement
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