2007 Tech Salary Survey Results

  • Frank,

    The fact is woman get paid less than man in the same position. Yes even in IT, some programmers do database programming, some programmers do web programming.  But if a man and a woman does same web programming job, the woman would get less pay and that is the fact, even the bureau of labor admitted it.  The pay scale is so complicate for a lot of company, if you complain, they can say a lot of things. 

    BTW staying at work for 45 hours does not mean you work 45 hours.  Some people spends time smoking, talking, and do other things.  Working 42 hours does not mean the woman does less work.  Maybe she is more efficient.  One of my co-worker spends a lot time at work because his programming skills suck, he cannot figure out how to do the job.

    You said why companies did not hire women if they got paid less, it depended on the job.  As I said only 28% of women in IT business, how can a company hire all woman when no woman resume comes in.  On  the other hand, women are the majority in nursing and teaching. 

    I worked in 10 ten companies so far, at least 3 of them I was the only woman on the team. (A team of 10 to 15 people).

  • Frank,

    You continue to argue with yourself.  Again, pay disparities because of hours worked are not at issue.

    You're also arguing with the author of the article that you referenced when you claim that women are paid the same as men for the same job, same hours, etcetera. ("What about the headlines saying that even when their jobs are the same, men get paid more than women? Isn't that especially true in corporate America? Yes.")  In addition, you're contradicting the results of the Dice survey which was original topic of Steve's post, and you're contradicting U.S. Department of Labor statistics:


    After reading the informative summary in this pdf, you might want to navigate to page 8 to see how, occupation after occupation, women are paid substantially less than men.

    As for the answer to your question, you'll have to ask the people who make such decisions.  I, for one, provide equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender.  I can't speak for those who don't.



  • Frank is actually correct according to the BLS article that was linked.

    "Women and men tend to work in different managerial and professional occupations. In 2005, among professional and related occupations, for example, women were much less likely than men to be employed in some of the highest paying fields, such as engineering and computer and mathematical occupations. Instead, women were more likely to work in lower paying professional occupations, such as education, training, and library occupations."

    It does appear that there is an element of choice that contributes to lower pay.  As was mentioned, total compensation may actually be equal because of benefits provided by the employers may account for a greater portion of the total compensation.  This is true for myself.  When I worked in the private sector about 95% of my compensation was salary.  Now that I work for government over 25% of my compensation is from benefits, but I do work fewer hours and spend more time with my family.

    "Women are more likely than men to work part time — that is, fewer than 35 hours per week. Women who worked part time made up one-fourth of all female wage and salary workers in 2005. In contrast, just 11 percent of men in wage and salary jobs worked part time. These proportions have not changed much over time."

    It also appears that women as a group do work fewer hours.  Typically those who work part-time receive less compensation than those who work full-time regardless of any other factor.

  • Joshua,

    On a couple of issues you address, Frank is entirely correct.  That's the reason I accused him of arguing with himself.  Nobody is arguing that persons in different professions should be paid the same.  Nobody is arguing that part-time workers should be paid the same as full-time workers. 

    However, to your point about benefits -- I will say that I haven't seen any data that women, as a group, receive higher benefits than men to account for the disparities in earnings within the same occupation.  If you're suggesting that's the case, as far as I can tell, that would be pure speculation.

    The issue that Frank seemed unable to grasp had to do with gender pay disparities when the occupation is the same, same experience, same responsibilites, same hours, same level of performance.  In other words, all else being equal, women are compensated less than men.

    The statistics that begin on the page 8 of the link I provided compare the earnings of male and female full-time workers, occupation by occupation.  This chart shows that, one occupation after another, the disparity is consistent with the summary of disparities on page 7 (with some exceptions).  For example, Frank kept bringing up Human Resources as an area that women gravitate to.  The median weekly salary for full-time female Human Resource Managers in 2005 was $998.  The median for male Human Resource Managers?  $1,357.  So, full-time male HR Managers earned 36 percent more than their female colleagues.

    Anecdotally, I can tell you that this happened in my own family.  We learned from my wife's employer's bookkeeper (who happened to be a close friend) that my wife (an architect) was paid significantly less than every man in the same position, including the ones with less experience, less education, less hours billed and, in my biased opinion, less skilled (the same was true for the other women in her position).  You should know that she had received excellent performance reviews from this employer.  As you might imagine, my wife was suddenly demoralized, and changed employers as soon as possible.  We have no way of knowng if such disparities exist with her current employer.  Unfortunately, my wife's experience is the rule, not the exception.

  • Loner - if you do everything the men in your office do, and you have the same (or better) qualifications, and you are being paid less, you need to do something about it. But that's a choice only you can make.


    Salary is a very touchy subject.  As I said before a lot of company the pay scale of the same position can vary,  they can use any reason to argue why you don't get paid as much as the other guy.  Unless it is very clear that it is the "gender" issue that I get paid less, I have no case to argue. 

    I got paid less from my first job, my second job gave me a 10% increase and so on...., so in this job they gave me a 10% increase more than my last job.  They thought it was a very good offer, so did I.  But most men got paid more in their first job so everytime they changed job, they got more and more, so my company offered a job to this guy, his previous salary was higher than mine already, so they had to pay him more even he had less experience.   It is a cycle.  Unless the government or my company suddenly gives woman a big raise, woman will never catch up.

    Chris, I understand how your wife feels.  I found out the other guys in my department had a higher salary by accident even they had less experiences. Even my boss gave me an exceptional performance review you still feel very unfair. 

  • Hi,

    Enough already.

    You've worked for 10 companies. You implied at each change you've received a 10% raise. Simple math, you've more than doubled your salary during that time. Not bad depending on time span.

    And, you said your last job was a good offer! Why are you complaining? You decided to take the offer. You made the decision.

    But, if you've worked for 10 different companies(again, I don't know what time period that would be), I'm surprised you're getting "good" offers. If I was hiring, I wouldn't make an offer, let alone a good one to some one who job hops.

    Greg H

  • The whole "women get paid less for doing the same work" is such a tired old lie that I just can't let this pass.

    No credible study has ever been able to really compare apples to apples by controlling for all the variables that exist.  Age, time in service, time in the field, hours worked, non-salary benefits, personal priorities, attitude, etc... are just a few of those variables.  Older people make more money than younger for doing the same jobs too, is anyone suggesting that this is because of discrimination?

    Employment and compensation is a very complex equation, arrived at through mutual agreement (at least in civilized capitalist society) of both the employer and employee.  In the end, it is about the individual's set of skills, attitudes, experience, education level, and priorities balanced against the needs, priorities and resources of the employer. 

    To say, or imply that there is some injustice afoot because there are detectable differences in pay between identifiable groups, is just stupid.  More likely, is that pay differences are attributable to one or more of the variables which can't be reliably measured, but which also tend to cluster in groups.

    Think about it, would any rational employer ever hire a man if they knew that they could get a woman to do the job cheaper?  I mean, that would have to be one stupid employer to make that kind of irrational decision, and they probably wouldn't last long.  To make the case that on an apples to apples basis, women make less money than their male counterparts you are really saying that not only are employers as a group, acting foolishly, but so too, are women. 



    If most people are not willing to see the difficulty, this is mainly because, consciously or unconsciously, they assume that it will be they who will settle these questions for the others, and because they are convinced of their own capacity to do this. -Friedrich August von Hayek


  • I can't say I appreciate my position in this discussion being referred to as a "lie", "stupid", etcetera. 

    However, putting that stuff aside -- numbers don't lie, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics data provided in my earlier post speaks for itself (of course, Google can help you find plenty of data from both sides of the argument).  Using simple arithmetic, any person can analyze this BLS data forwards and backwards and, in my opinion, arrive at only one "rational" conclusion: women are discriminated against when it comes to compensation.  The disparities are more than merely "detectable differences".  The disparites are significant and they occur between median pay for women working full-time vs. median pay for men working full-time, in occupation after occupation (these are as apples to apples as such comparisons can get).  Such disparities, also consistently applied from industry to industry, age group to age group, racial group to racial group (e.g. white women make less than white men, black women make less than black men), marital status to marital status, education level to education level can't be explained away by time in the field, hours worked, non-salary benefits, attitude, or anything else.  (The BLS document also indicated that hourly female workers are paid lower hourly wages than hourly male workers).

    As I wrote in a previous post, I also have personal experience with this issue, and I can't know why my wife's employer paid the men more than all the full-time women with more education, more experience and more hours worked.  I can only speculate.

    With regard to the question of why any "rational" employer would ever hire a man if they knew that they could get a woman to do the job cheaper -- this question assumes that employers who choose to pay women less for the same position, same experience, same performance are rational.  I'd argue -- they're not.  However, since this question seems to be an obstacle for some, I will speculate:

    1. Hiring on the basis of sex is illegal (and such illegal activiity is easier to spot than pay discrimination), and/or

    2. generally, those who make the hiring decisions believe that men provide a better return on their payroll investment than women, even at higher salaries (i.e. they're sexists), and/or

    3. there aren't enough women in the job market to fill all vacancies, and/or

    4. ???

    Again -- just thinking out loud.  I would just reiterate, that as the man who made millions off of the Pet Rock demonstrated, people don't make rational economic decisions in the way that Thomas Sowell would have us believe.  Personal and subjective emotions, opinions, bias and judgements (often poor) play a significant role. 

    In his article, "Morality vs. Sanctimoniousness" Thomas Sowell makes some of the same straw man arguments that others have made here: comparing the compensation of part-time female workers to full-time male workers; comparing female workers of one occupation with male workers in a different occupation.  In addition, he accused those who see the plain truth behind statistics such as those provided by the U.S. Department of Labor as being "intellectuals" (i.e. those who disagree with Thomas Sowell), "sanctimonious" (which, by Sowell's own definition, is sanctimonious on his part), being irrational when referring to what our "imagination reads into the statistics" and having a "greed for power". 

    Sowell's article did not take on the issue at hand: all else being equal, are men compensated more than women?  Instead, among other things, he took a "kill the messenger" approach that, I believe, should not pursuade. 

    (One more thing -- On the "mutual agreement" argument, when negotiating with a job applicant, the employer has complete information regarding compensation and benefits provide within his department or company -- the job applicant does not.  In my wife's case, it was a fluke that she learned the truth.  Few individuals know how their compensation compares with that of their colleagues.  Pay disparities among employees are the reason that employers have policies prohibiting employees from telling each other how much they make.  If employers were the meritocracies they want us to believe, such confidentiality would be unnecessary.)

  • "All else being equal" is the key phrase here, and while numbers may not lie, those who put them together certainly do.  Sowell's argument is not that women aren't compensated less.  His argument is that you can't tell from the data, and it is dishonest to imply, or state, that you can.  And, no the article I linked to wasn't specifically about this issue, the gender pay issue was addressed as an aside and thus not gone into in detail.  If you want a more thorough analysis on the subject you can read his book Vision of the Annointed.

    It's a myth that you can control variables in statistics like this.  Take education for example.  In what world would you expect someone who holds a BA in Communications from some no-name college to command the same as someone who holds a JD from an Ivy League school?  Even if both are working in the same field for the same amount of time?  According to the statistics, both are college graduates and thus apples... 

    The more variables you ACTUALLY control for, the smaller your aggregated groups become, and thus less statistically relevant.  It's a catch 22 that can't be solved, but that doesn't stop those with a political agenda from cherry picking statistics to suit their vision.

    Your argument for transparent salary information is silly.  I've never heard of, or worked in a company where there was an actual policy that said you couldn't disclose you salary to anyone you wanted.  It's customary not to, because doing so is in poor taste.  Compensation is a very personal matter and revealing salary information might either be humiliating, or create jealousy, neither of which is conducive to a productive work environment.

    Employers don't disclose your pay because they are protecting your privacy.  It is precisely because of merit that pay differences exist.  If you want to know exactly how much your co-workers make, just work in a union shop or government job where pay is based more on seniority than merit.  Having worked in both union and government jobs, I can state categorically that those systems, with their rigid formulas for determining pay, do little more than discourage innovation and personal initiative.

    Even if I accept your explanations as to why employers make irrational decisions (which I don’t), you still can't explain why you think that women are behaving so irrationally.  It is obviously not in their best interest to accept below market wages for their labor, and yet they persist.  As an employee, I have a very good idea of what compensation my skills command; I would be an idiot to accept less, all else being equal.  Are all women idiots?  The only other explanations are a grand conspiracy to fix wages, or slavery.

    If you believe that some evil is being perpetrated here, it must either be a vast wage-fixing conspiracy in which huge numbers of women are actively participating (there are after all a great many women hiring managers and HR types), or mass chromosome-based stupidity.  Which is it?

    In the U.S. our unemployment rate is so low that we are running above what is considered to be “full employment”.  That means that, in the aggregate, employees have a huge amount of power in determining their employment conditions.  Why, particularly in such an environment, would women continue to accept less than they are worth?  The answer is that they are not, despite how you might want to interpret the statistics.



    If most people are not willing to see the difficulty, this is mainly because, consciously or unconsciously, they assume that it will be they who will settle these questions for the others, and because they are convinced of their own capacity to do this. -Friedrich August von Hayek


  • Again, accusations of being “dishonest”, “silly” and having a “political agenda” don’t add to the discourse.  In addition, the implication that those who compile U.S. Department of Labor statistics may have lied in doing so doesn’t seem to be a very strong approach either.  In fact, rather than “cherry picking statistics to suit one’s vision” (ex: college educated individuals), anybody who clicks on the BLS link in my earlier post can scroll down to look at the overwhelming evidence of the gender pay gap in line-after-line-after-line in the multiple pages displaying the BLS data.  This data is a tidal wave of eye-opening evidence that absolutely cannot be explained away under any circumstances.   


    On the subject of “political agendas”, I don’t know what political agenda is being referenced here, but Steve Jones summed up my position nicely when he wrote “same performance, same job, same experience = same pay.”  In addition, The Equal Pay Act, which effectively legislated for women what Steve advocated in his statement, was passed in 1963.  Was Steve’s statement a manifestation of a political agenda?  Is it a political agenda to expect employers to comply with this law that was enacted, without controversy, at a time when Ward and June Cleaver were still prime-time television characters?  If so, then I plead guilty.


    For those who have never heard of, or worked in a company where there was an actual policy that said you couldn't disclose you salary to anyone you wanted, read the section titled “Prohibited Activities” in the following link: http://etest.firesprinkler.org/empmanual.html#Prohibited_Activities  Notice the part about “The following severe activities will not be tolerated…sharing confidential salary information with employees other than your supervisor."  Such a clause is common in employee manuals.  Employers don’t care about employees’ feelings.  Such data sharing would eliminate their advantage in negotiating “mutual agreements” regarding compensation. 


    I’m simply suggesting that employers could improve their bottom lines by abandoning archaic compensation models that consider irrelevant factors such as age, gender, “attitude”, hours in the office and other factors that often have little to do the quality and timeliness of a worker’s actual performance.  More and more employers are establishing market-based compensation models based on objective and measurable results (Best Buys’ corporate office is one example).  In doing so, employers would have nothing to hide.  I don’t see how Thomas Sowell could have a problem with that.


    On the question of why “women are behaving so irrationally” when accepting lower compensation than male counterparts, I don’t believe they are.  Applying personal experience, I can speculate that on an individual basis – a woman doesn’t know how her compensation compares to her male coworkers when she accepts a job offer or a raise (my wife certainly didn’t, and of course, she changed jobs ASAP when she was informed of the pay gap in her own company). 


    With all that said, as market compensation data becomes more readily available online with sites like salary.com and the Dice salary survey that Steve offered up, the discrepancies between male and female compensation are likely to grow smaller, and in time, disappear.  In the meantime, when a job posting advertises a job that pays between $65,000 and $80,000 per year, one has to wonder what subjective judgments a potential employer makes when deciding how much to offer.

  • Hi Guys

    Can anyone remember what is the topic of the actual article? Why we are debating on some trivial issues which we cannot solve? Guys lets discuss more on SQL. By the way we should be happy that we are in #3 position. I know lot of women earns more than guys. Why fight?

    We should also be not personal in this type of forum against each other. We are a good community and lets work to help each other more......


  • Sorry, Folks. Frank is right.

    Is this situation fair? Well, no.

    Can we correct it by putting everyone who doesn't comply in jail (i.e. Journeyman)? Though many would like to try, I'm not sure we can pull that one off. And as much as the current world isn't what I would like, I'm not sure I want to live in a world where we could pull it off.

    If this were merely a matter of philosophy or politics, I'm not sure I'd have joined in the conversation. The problem is that this is why we're so quick to be canned when the economy heads south. Businesses hire people for one reason - to make money. They don't hire us to straighten out the moral inequities of the universe. Is it unfair for an individual woman to make less because women as a group are more likely to take advantage of things like maternity leave? Sure. It's also sad though that management looks at computer workers as a bunch of people who don't understand the need to make the bottom line, and this discussion proves it. That makes all of us targets when developers become available in other countries. That's not fair, either. If I want fair, I'll, well, I'm not sure where to go where it's totally fair. To quote former president Jimmy Carter when a news reporter suggested that he wasn't doing enough to combat life's inequities, "Life's not fair".

    “Politicians are like diapers. They both need changing regularly and for the same reason.”

  • I don't think we have gone off topic. This salary survey is interesting in the pay scales on average for the various jobs, but as far as trying to determine whether women are under/over paid for the same job, it's not logical that you could infer this information from the data given.

    Let's assume that the survey asked your job title. Chances are you were given just a select list of titles. Perhaps you don't have the actual title, but it closely matches what you do (but not entirely) - what would you choose? Obviously the one that closely matches - so right off the bat - we are not comparing apples to apples.

    Just look at the topic for Medical/Pharmaceutical professions. Stating that women earn 11.5% less. Are we truly comparing say an RN with 3yrs experience to the same RN? Or do we have doctors being compared to nurses? Do we have an intern being compared to a doctor of 25 years? ER nurse vs a ward nurse? The list goes on.

    The first thing we were told in statistics is that there are "lies, damned lies and statistics".

    John Stossel talked with author Warren Farrell who was a big proponent of the "women get paid less" myth and he found that this is quite a bit of hooey and if you think about it for a minute, his argument makes sense.


    If women really are paid less (say the $0.75 / $1) that men are paid, why do employers not only hire women? They could save $0.25 / hr for every woman they hired over each man. Simple business sense would say that you are better off financially of only hiring those whom would cost you less. After all, isn't that the reason that companies are out-sourcing jobs overseas? Because they can get the "same" work done for less money?

    The only thing that the Dice report is truly good for is getting a feel for where you stand within your field salary wise. Even then it's not exact because what you do vs the individuals who were surveyed do you have no idea. You maybe doing more than they do or doing a lot less. All it's good for is a ball bark idea of what you "should" be making. And if you feel you're underpaid, then it can be a tool to help justify why you should be making more to your employer. It can't be used to force an employer to pay you more, you have to be able to show that you are worth that increase. It can be used to show that the increase you are asking for is not out of line with the industry.

    Ad maiorem Dei gloriam

  • No, the discussion is not "off topic" because the original article, and many of the earlier posts are informed by the pay gap myth. My posts were merely to point out that the so called pay gap cannot be supported by any available evidence, unless that evidence is used incorrectly and that such twisting of data is in fact a lie, and those who do it, are in fact liars. Those who in turn believe the lies are not liars, but they are dupes... It's almost impossible to convince liars to change their ways becasue their influence and livelyhoods are depenedent on the power they have gained by lying, but dupes sometimes can be shown the error of their assumptions. That's all I was trying to do. To use one of the old canards that has been used to justify the loss of so many of our liberties: "If only one person rethinks their blind acceptance of the pay gap myth, it will be worth it!" (I couldn't think of a way to work in "It's for the children" so that will do...)


    If most people are not willing to see the difficulty, this is mainly because, consciously or unconsciously, they assume that it will be they who will settle these questions for the others, and because they are convinced of their own capacity to do this. -Friedrich August von Hayek


  • The interesting thing to me is that I don't think you could get the "experts" to agree on what constitutes the "complete" set of variables to look at. A lot of things tend to be invoked in the salary discussion, which ultimately don't belong there: having the variables defined is one thing - knowing how they "play" into the discussion is key. For example - age per se as a factor in a salary discussion SHOULD also be a factor for a lawsuit, just like a lot of other factors.

    I do agree that salary transparency (or rather - the total lack of transparency) can be a big problem. A lot of places these days severely restrict your ability to move up based on individual performance, if it's even a possibility at all. If your raises are determined at a departmental level, then the ONLY thing you control is the "starting salary": getting short-changed there for any reason means a battle, and a long-term inequity that often can never be remedied. On top of that, every organization I've ever worked for has made it a firing offense to disclose or discuss salary info of any kind, so you could be getting the short end of the stick for decades without knowing it.

    Finally - if the consensus is that there is no "good" data conclusively answering the discrepancy versus no discrepancy, then the answer to the question would (in DBA terms) currently be a NULL. So - why the vitriol?

    Working with incomplete is routinely done in business - you just can't afford to wait for the "complete picture" to emerge, even if (as stated earlier) there ever is agreement as to what the "complete picture" should be. It does look to me that there still remains some amount of a pay discrepancy, but how much and whether it's justified or not is still not definitively answered.

    I'm not even sure that the premise is even correct. Equality of opportunity does NOT always translate to equality of results, so the presumption that the results SHOULD be the same might also be in question (speaking entirely from a data analysis perspective).

    Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part...unless you're my manager...or a director and above...or a really loud-spoken end-user..All right - what was my emergency again?

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