• 06/05/2014
    7:00 AM
    Scott M. Fulton, III
  • Scott M. Fulton, III
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IT Pro Salaries: The Gender Gap Widens

InformationWeek's 2014 US IT Salary Survey showed a growing disparity between what female networking and datacenter professionals are paid compared to their male counterparts.

Last year, the median salaries of American women in all professions declined steeply compared to median salaries for men, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, giving back gains made since 2008. This negative trend was also reflected in our survey numbers.

In our 2013 survey, women in data center and networking management positions earned $5,000 less in base salary per year than men, and $6,000 less than men with bonuses are added. This year, women in these jobs earned $21,000 less per annum in base salary, and $24,000 less with bonuses added.

All in all, male managers in networking and datacenters are being paid 27% more than female managers in base salary, and 29% more than women with bonuses included. Granted, women represent only 7% of all networking and data center professionals in the survey, but the data seem to support the BLS findings.

While salaries and total compensation for male managers are relatively flat, they plummeted for women, suggesting that essentially the entire downward pressure on median compensation can be attributed to lower pay for women.

"Women in the networking field are still paid below salary of what a male would make," wrote one woman with 17 years' experience in IT, currently serving as a systems administrator for a healthcare firm. And one 26-year veteran IT analyst for a university told us she's actively looking for more challenging work elsewhere, but she's been quoted starting salaries as much as $25,000 less per annum "to perform not only the same job responsibilities but more."

The news was not as bad for female staff members in our survey, for whom the pay gap for base salaries shrank to $4,000 per annum (down from $10,000 last year). For total compensation, the gap shrank to $5,000 (down from $12,000).

As noted above, women in data centers and networking represent only 7% of the staff members among our survey respondents and 6% of management. This subset demonstrated some of the lowest growth results.

However, among the 11,662 total respondents to InformationWeek's industry-wide survey, representing IT as a whole, the compensation picture for women overall is poor. Women in IT management report being paid a median annual base salary of $104,000  -- a gap that's 9% lower than men and growing by about 1% per year since 2012. For staff, women report they're paid $79,000 -- 12% below men, with the gap growing by 1% per year.



The negative trend indicated in the survey is really discouraging, especially how female  networking and data center pros only see the pay discrepancy grow when they move into management positions.

Surprised at how big the gap is

Unfortunatley it doesn't surprise me that there is a gap but how large it is. There shouldn't be a gap at all. How does something like this get fixed? Get more women in management positions? Is that the answer? Even if it was, doing it is a whole other issue.

Re: Surprised at how big the gap is

Even i am not suprised with survey report, fact is most of the female dont choose Datacenter Jobs as their career. Solution is not hiring Women for management position but hiring for Engineer postion can help a lot, you need to understand the base to manage a team.There has to be special some kind of special treatment or kind of training to help women manage the pressure at Datacenter.

Re: Surprised at how big the gap is

Aditshar1... I'm not sure what you are trying to say. Are you saying women need special training to handle pressure in the datacenter? That sounds like a generalization to me.

Not being able to handle pressure is the datacenter has nothing to do with gender. Also I think we are talking more about management positions where the gap is widening to unacceptable levels. My opinion anyway.

Re: Surprised at how big the gap is

Let me try and make it simple, What do you think, why this gender gap is making more room....I guess your answer should clear most of the queries here.

Re: Surprised at how big the gap is

It's a form of discrimination in my book. How else can you explaine it?

Re: Surprised at how big the gap is

Part of it may be that women are not as good at negotiating for higher salaries. I know I am not, so I'm not trying to throw women under the bus, but just speaking from experience and also what I have heard from my peers. That could be one reason for a large disparity, even within the same role. And sometimes things you do as a manager affect your salary. For example, you may choose to give pay raises to your staff instead of taking an increase yourself, and women may be more likely to choose that route. 

Re: Surprised at how big the gap is

@Susan... you bring up a great point that has to do with general behavior in men and women. Very interesting and I'm sure that plays a roll. I'm not sure how gender has a roll in negotioating. I'm sure there are many men that are not good at that either.  Now I'm not saying discrimination is running rampant against women but discrimination still exists in the work place and it takes many forms.

Re: Surprised at how big the gap is

Paul, I think discriminations definitely plays a part. Women often fear they are worth less than men are, so they are less likely to stand up for themselves and demand higher salaries. They also might get paid less -- and I have been in this situation -- because they choose jobs that offer good benefits or flexible work hours instead of high salaries. There are a lot of factors to consider.

Re: Surprised at how big the gap is

I dont think discrimination is the word, in short women prefer to be in Arts and Commerce rather being in IT. We do have number of places where women are more in number than men so do think its discrimination..

Re: Surprised at how big the gap is

@aditshar1..I think when we start generalizing you are doing a disservice to the group that is being generalized. What you bring up is an entirely different issue. Women are in all different careers. To say most work in Arts and commerce is a generalization that I do not see as true in what I have seen with my experience.

Re: Surprised at how big the gap is

Everything comes under generalization, again this is also generalized. My motto was to keep up a point which says its matter of interest which keeps women away from IT creating gender Gap. Salary is altogether different thing here.

Re: Surprised at how big the gap is

Very interesting article!