Women do better, minorities worse, when it comes to the tech wage gap

Salary data tells a troubling story on the continued disparities in the tech industry, though women engineers and Asians have nearly closed their paycheck gaps.

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The employment gap for people of color continues to be a problem for US tech providers (Silicon Valley writ large), just as it is for women. There’s also a salary gap for those who do manage to get hired, with minorities and women making less than their white and male counterparts for the same jobs.

New data from ChartHop shows that the pay gap in the tech industry is narrowing for women, but not for people of color. (The data includes no IT organizations in enterprises, government, or education — just tech providers.)

Based on anonymized personnel data from its tech industry customers, ChartHop was able to look at salary data by gender, ethnicity, and role of more than 16,000 employees at companies using its business operations software. ChartHop can’t say how representative its data is of the tech industry as a whole (which includes tech providers as well as business, government, and education). But its findings align to other published data from Glassdoor and the US Census Bureau.

Women make less than men, but the gap is smaller than in 2018

The ChartHop customer data shows women in tech make 17.5% less in wages than men: $100,895 on average versus $122,234. The percentage difference is slightly better than for all women in the US, who make 20% less than men, on average. And the situation for women in tech is much better than in 2018, when they made on average 23% less than men, according to ChartHop’s data: $92,087 in wages versus $119,655.

The differences in wages vary only slightly with a person’s seniority: ChartHop found that lower-tier female employees make about 17.3% less than their male counterparts. Female managers fare better, making 13.8% less then male managers. ChartHop did not calculate the difference for executives, but the overall average of 17.5% disparity in women’s wages means female executives make at least 18%  less then male execs.

Women account for about 29% of executives and 39% of managers, but 44% of all tech employees. Overall, women account for 50.2% of the US working-age population.

Female engineers do the best in the tech sector, making 6.4% less this year than male engineers: $122,180 versus $130,585 on average. Female salespeople fare much worse, making 18.3% less than male salespeople: $74,404 compared to $91,110, on average.

People of color are doing worse, especially Black and Latinx employees

Black and Latinx (Hispanic) tech employees face a bigger wage gap than women do. The ChartHop data show that in 2020 Black tech employees on average make 30.3% less than white employees: $90,873 versus $130,418, on average. Blacks account for 8% of tech employees at ChartHop customers, nearly double their percentage in 2018.

Latinx tech employees make 24.8% less than whites: $98,041 versus $130,418 on average. Latinx people account for 8% of tech employees at ChartHop customers, nearly double their percentage in 2018.

The ChartHop data also shows that the wage gaps for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous tech employees actually rose in 2020 versus 2018 and 2019. That is, people of color in tech face a greater disparity in pay in 2020. But it coudn't easily quantify the average wage gap per person given differences in roles, diferences in seniority, and number of positions.

Among people of color, Asian tech employees fare best, earning 1.7% less than whites: $128,226 versus $130,418 on average.

The ChartHop data on people of color in tech doesn’t show the average salaries by role or seniority, as it does for women,. That leaves it unknown how much of the ethnic wage gap, and its worsening in 2020, is due to differences in proportion by seniority or the types of jobs held.

A separate report by Crunchbase also shows that Black- and Latinx-led tech startups struggle to get VC funding, even in diverse states like California.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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