IT Womens Salaries Falling Fast

IT salary increases shriveled in 2002, with women IT workers suffering the worst, says study.

IT salary increases shriveled in 2002, with women IT workers suffering the worst, according to a new study from Brainbench, an online skills testing company in Chantilly, Va.

According to the 2002 IT Salary Survey Report, women in almost every major salary category lost ground virtually across the board, making more than men in only the lowest-paying IT jobs: those salaries under $40,000.

Womens salary losses represent a loss of ground gained in prior years. Survey results in 2001, for example, showed that the percentage of women earning more than $150,000 outpaced that of men by almost double in companies with sales in excess of $1 billion. The ranks of women in IT middle management ranks also swelled in 2001, as more women started earning between $50,000 and $100,000.

But its bad for both genders. The survey found that 67 percent of 6,000 survey respondents—of which about 2,000 were female—received no or very small raises in 2002. In 2001, only 52 percent of survey respondents reported receiving increases of only 0 to 3 percent.

Respondents hold a variety of titles, with 43 percent being managers, team leaders and team members. CEOs, owners, partners and senior management represent 4 percent of respondents, along with consultants (14 percent), directors (3 percent), vice presidents (1 percent), and other (34 percent).

The report also found that expectations are grim for salary increases in 2003, as well, with 42 percent of respondents saying they expect increases of between 0 to 3 percent, and only 30 percent saying they expect an increase of between 3 and 5 percent. In 2001, outlooks were brighter, with more than half of respondents reporting that they expected increases to be in the range of 3 to 5 percent.

One IT sector is reporting better-than-average salary growth: The computer hardware/software manufacturing sector outpaced every other IT industry category in each salary increase category above the 1 to 3 percent norm for 2002, the report said.

Many firms refrained from paying additional compensation in the form of options and grants. For those that did, large companies (more than $1 billion in annual revenue) were the most generous.

Finally, certifications are still making a difference in take-home pay. Those respondents who received certifications were more likely to achieve salary increases above the industry average of 1 to 3 percent.