Tech Salaries Continue To Be Unequal for Women

A new report by Glassdoor shows men report earning a higher base salary than women for similar roles at some of the biggest technology companies. It’s a problem many thought would have improved by now instead of showing no progress.

Glassdoor said in a blog post, “Within the tech industry this year, several companies from Amazon to Facebook to Twitter have publicly released their workforce diversity demographics. In the spirit of promoting transparency and equality within the workplace,Glassdoor turned to its salary andcompany ratings database to find out how compensation and employee satisfaction compare between men and women at a sample of 25 of the largest tech companies.”

A good point is raised by Glassdoor in its post. “While several questions come up, two that bubble up for us include: What causes men to have a head start in these roles? And, if more women study technology and pursue careers in the industry, will we see the gap in compensation narrow?”

Men apparently still earn more money than their female counterparts the higher up they move in an organization. According to a article on the Glassdoor survey, “While the report does not reveal why this might be the case,Ruthe Farmer, chief strategy officer for the National Center for Women in Information Technology, said there can be a number of reasons why women don’t advance in the workplace. For one, there’s the language used in performance evaluations. Farmer said women tend to be described with less aggressive language — they’re ‘helpers’ and ‘team players’ while men are ‘go-getters’ and ‘leaders.’

She also said there can be the perception that women don’t need to advance and get raises because they’re not typically breadwinners.”

As a side note, it’s amazing to see that perception still exists. Even dare to make that allusion to most women I know and you can (rightly) see forehead veins start pulsing. Why is the corporate world so misogynistic?

Farmer also said some biases are outright, some unconscious. She said many companies are now undertaking efforts like unconscious bias training and examining the ways in which their practices are not gender neutral, even down to language used in ads. “There’s even a Tumblr that gathers ads from the tech industry that use almost exclusively masculine language, down to the pronouns. A company advertising for a ‘server guy’ is sending a message whether it knows it or not,” the article said.

The situation could improve if the number of women in tech continues to grow beyond the current 20 percent level, according to “I am confident that in 10 years from now, women are not going to be 20% of the tech workforce. We’re going to get the numbers that we saw in the 80s and get gender parity shortly after that,” Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, said in the TechRepublic article.

Glassdoor said there can be discrepancies between companies. Some will pay women better while others continue to pay men better. The blog post said, “Some highlights from this report show that there is a $6,000 discrepancy in median base salary when comparing women ($94,967, 3.2 years of experience) to men ($101,006, 3.3 years experience) in the software development engineer role at Microsoft.In some of these jobs, however, women report earning more than men. At Google, for example, women software engineers report earning an annual base salary of $117,740 (and report 3.5 years experience), more than $4,000 more than men ($113,548, with 3.9 years experience) in the same role.”

The TechRepublic article referenced above has a large graphic chart that shows the discrepancies among the Top 25 tech companies. As the article notes, things might be different internationally but the TechRepublic survey only focuses on US companies.

Keith Griffin
Keith Griffin is an award-winning business writer and editor with more than 30 years experience as a journalist. His work has been published in The Boston Globe, Medical Economist, Good Housekeeping,, the Hartford Courant, CT Law Tribune and numerous other regional publications.