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How MUCH More Do You Make?

Yesterday, my SQLServerCentral.com editorial Why are we still talking about Women in Tech? was published, and we had a fine time all the day discussing the ins and outs of the question on the forum.  One reader wrote me to express admiration of the article, but indifference to the subject, because there hadn’t been any hard numbers on the difference in pay between men and women in IT.

I’ve talked before (in the blog You Earn More Than I Do) about the differences in pay, and pondered the possible reasons behind the gap…but my reader was right: I haven’t posted any solid numbers. The problem is that I haven’t found definitive numbers on the wage gap for the technology sector, specifically.  Here is what I have found:

This paper cites this figure: “College-educated women in male-dominated fields earn 76% of what college-educated men earn one year after graduation”.  Women make up just under 25% of the computer populace, so I’d say that IT qualifies as a male-dominated field.

This one from Silicon.com discusses the situation in the UK.  The math they give shows women at 62% pay compared to men.

This article on CNN has very optimistic news, though: “Women in technology-related fields, however, fared the best.  “High-tech companies are much more gender-blind,” Spence said. That’s probably because technology is a newer field and more progressive, she said.  Women computer programmers make 93% of what men in the same position make and on average earn $1,182 per week.”

But notice that most WIT articles we’ve been seeing in the SQL sphere lately – mine and others’ – aren’t about the wage gap (or at least, not exclusively).  The disparity that can’t be argued is in the number of women in the field. 

My message today: I’m all for fair wages, but I’m not necessarily seeing big wage gaps in my immediate circle. My focus is on opening this interesting, fun, well-paid field up to all the women and men who might enjoy it.




Posted by Dave Wentzel on 7 October 2010

You can't use "hard numbers" to determine the "why", sometimes you just can't infer things from statistics.  Those who do are trying to make human action something scientific and quantifiable which clearly human action is not.  Wage gaps are easy to explain if you keep that in mind.  A capitalist always wishes to pay less for a given factor of production.  Many capitalists, right or wrong, have reasons for offering women less money then men...fear of family obligations probably being the biggest, but also petty reasons such as fear of sexual harassment lawsuits, or maybe they are just misogynists.  However, none of this matters.  Those who unfairly discriminate, for whatever reason, will ultimately suffer through reduced profits.  The marketplace is the great equalizer.  

Posted by Anonymous on 8 October 2010

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