Tech's Wage Gap Is Shortening While Minority Women Remain Negatively Impacted
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Tech's Wage Gap Is Shortening While Minority Women Remain Negatively Impacted

It’s National Equal Pay Day, and Hired.com just released its report on the gender pay gap across industries. Women in the workplace have historically been compensated less than their male peers for doing the same job — 60 percent of these men are paid more than women now.

According to the study, the technology industry has a 3 percent wage gap which is a 1 percentage point improvement from two years ago. San Francisco had the smallest gender wage gap, followed by New York, Seattle, Boston, and Los Angeles. San Francisco’s booming tech scene plays a large part in its shrinking wage gap; however, it may not be the best city for women in tech.

A separate study by SmartAsset found that Washington, D.C. ranks as the city with the best pay for women in tech with women making 95 percent of what men do. The survey also said that D.C. has more tech women workers and those employees have more income after housing costs.

Although tech’s wage gap is making improvements, this progress may only be for major firms. Women in the startup world are experiencing huge gaps in equity, according to Carta, which showed that female equity-holding employees earn about 47 cents to the dollar of male equity-holding employees.

To make matters worse, women are missing out on a large chunk of opportunity with equity. Women in tech make up 35 percent of equity-holding employees but hold only 20 percent of employee equity.

In addition, the wage gap is still taking a toll on women of color. The Hired.com report showed that Black women are paid 89 cents to the dollar of white men, a one-cent decrease from last year. For Hispanic women, pay is 91 cents to the dollar of white men.

Asian and white people across both genders are paid more than their Black and Hispanic counterparts.

Photo: Hired.com

Sexual orientation also plays a role in pay equity. LGBTQ men and women are paid less than their heterosexual, cishet counterparts. For the tech industry, LGBTQ women are paid 92 cents to the dollar of non-LGBTQ+ men.

Pay equity and other forms of discrimination are why many members of the LGBTQ remain closeted at work. A 2018 study by the Human Rights Campaign said that 46 percent of LGBTQ employees are not open about their sexuality at work.

“While LGBTQ-inclusive corporate policies are becoming the norm, LGBTQ workers too often face a climate of bias in their workplace,” said HRC’s Director of the  Workplace Equality Program, Deena Fidas, said in a statement. “LGBTQ employees are still avoiding making personal and professional connections at work because they fear coming out — and that hurts not only that employee, but the company as a whole.”

Hired.com

Women are now asking for more compensation, which helps to lessen the wage gap. However, the study found that women are asking for about 4 percent less than men.

“Women are being offered less because they are asking for less. Once we account for a candidates’ asking salary, the wage gap essentially disappears,” said UC Berkeley’s Opportunity Lab’s Nina Roussille in a statement. Roussille currently studies the tech industry’s wage inequality issue. 

There have been slow, but steady improvements to the gender wage gap. More transparency is needed from companies and employees to help close the gap and ensure that skilled workers are paid equally.