Solving the Tech pay gap between men and women

According to a salary survey conducted by Dice.com, “men are making more money than women in technology jobs, about 12% more than they did last year”

I find this outrageous that in our day and age this problem still exists. One way to solve any issue is to find possible causes and offer a solution. Below is my attempt at discovering the causes and offering some solutions for the pay gap.

Knowledge Self Doubt

Problem: From dealing and communicating with so many women in IT, one biggest trend that always surfaces to the top is “I don’t know everything”. That kind of belief system can make women feel undeserving of a raise or a promotion.
Solution: Realize that no one knows EVERYTHING. The main requirement to succeed in IT is the ability and willingness to learn fast and on the fly.

Women Don’t Ask and and Often Negotiate Against Themselves

Problem: According to Shellye Archambeau, who has been a top executive for more than two decades, running major businesses at companies such as IBM and Blockbuster the reason is that Women Don’t Ask. She says

Few women she supervised came a knocking on her door demanding more money. The men, on the other hand, were more likely to squawk for a fatter paycheck.

“It started to surprise me that many males on my team would stop by and have a conversation with me about their financial needs and expectations. Throughout my career I only had one woman actually come and talk about her financial needs during raise time. When people came, it was the men”.

Webgrrls’ Co-founder and CEO, Kevin Kennedy, teaches negotiating workshops for women, offers a few quick facts:

  • By not negotiating a first salary, an individual stands to lose more than $500,000 by age 60 and men are more than four times as likely as women to negotiate a first salary.
  • Another study calculated that women who consistently negotiate their salary increases earn at least $1 million more during their careers than women who don’t.

Kevin says “women need to become comfortable negotiating at the start of their careers and then just get better at it as their careers progress…remember, it is either $1000 or $10,000 or $100,000 in your pocket or in someone else’s”.

Solution: Take workshops and classes on negotiations. Practice, practice, practice…your negotiating skills and always ASK. If you don’t ask…the answer is always no. If you incorporate this into your daily life, it will be “normal” for you to ask for salary raises.

No Opportunity to Form the “right” Relationships

Problem: Women are the primary care takes of their family. On top of their workload, they have to take care of the kids and the household. You won’t see them “hanging out” with their managers after work and have drinks and as a result don’t form the same relationships with the people who are responsible for promotions and salary raises.

Solution:Ask you partner to take on some home responsibilities and make an attempt to form the relationship with your managers.

Do you have other causes and solutions for the pay gap? Please share!



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