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Gender Gap, Not Wage Gap, Persists in IT Sector

Women make up 31 percent of the tech workforce and have for some time.

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Gender plays no role in compensation for technology professionals, but what does still exist is a position gap, according to Dice’s annual salary survey data of more than 16,000 tech professionals.

The study found that when comparing equal education levels, years of technical experience and job title, no gap exists.

However, when it comes to bonuses, compensation satisfaction, primary motivators and career concerns, all of which greatly impact overall job satisfaction and career growth, there are clear differences by gender.

Some 38 percent of men received a bonus in 2015, compared to 34 percent for women. The average bonus for men was $10,420; for women, it was $8,899.

"Tech companies have been actively pursuing diversity programs for a while and this is really a sign it might be paying off," Bob Melk, president of Dice, told eWEEK. "Tech has been the place to work, relative to other industries and professions and companies recognize they can’t attract the best talent if they’re only fishing from half of the population. That message has had time to sink in, and the industry appears to be attracting and hiring a more diverse workforce. There is nothing inherently that exists in tech careers that should hold women back."

Almost 54 percent of men expressed satisfaction with compensation in their current position, while 51 percent of women were satisfied with their salaries.

"Business decision-making is enriched by diverse views," Melk said. "Companies implementing diversity programs, which attract qualified women, ensure all employees benefit from that diversity and the benefits inherent within. Men like transparency, benefits and perks just as much as women--everyone wins."

Melk explained that according to government data, women make up 31 percent of the tech workforce and have for some time.

"Having strong role models and women leaders is one way young professionals can see the type of career they too could have in tech," he said. "I also think there are a lot more programs today encouraging young women to pursue a career in STEM such as Girls Who Code. Beyond that, we have more work to do to expand opportunities for women within leadership and management."

He noted that beyond providing competitive compensation, employers must look at other key drivers such as challenging assignments and flexibility with work hours and location.

"I believe there is much more attention to attracting women to tech. I see this trend continuing as companies have a dialogue with women – and really all—employees about what drives them to continue a career in technology," Melk said. "The effort really must start early in schools to show young women the benefits and advantages to working in tech. As more schools and colleges do this, collectively with the tech community, I anticipate a more diverse, inclusive tech workforce in the future."