Business Content Writer, WISE, the campaign for greater gender balance in STEM
Newly published data shows gender pay disparities for mid-career tech workers and how employers can close the gap.
Previously unpublished data from the WISE Exploring Pathways into Tech Careers research, released in September, shows women who have been in a tech workforce career for between 6-10 and 10-20 years’ experience a slump in their salaries compared to the men who also took the survey1.
The data, which cross correlates years of experience within the tech workforce with salary, indicates that the highest salaried jobs for people who have had 6-10 years of experience are skewed towards male respondents.
Women who have been in a tech workforce career for between 6-10 and 10-20 years’ experience a slump in their salaries compared to the men.
Better gender parity at higher salary bracket
By contrast, the data from women in the entry-level category – those who have been in the tech workforce for 0-3 years – shows they are paid better than men overall. Similarly, the salaries of women who have been in the tech workforce for 3-5 years appear to be keeping pace with those of men. The final ‘years of experience’ range – 20-30 years – also shows more gender balance particularly among those earning £50k-£75k and £75k-£100k.
Career breaks are not affecting salary long term
We cannot know exactly why there appears to be a salary slump for women in their mid-career compared with men. However, the pattern seems to reflect the often-reported leaky STEM career pipeline in which women who have taken time off to have children return to work in a less technical or lower paid job. Most positively, the data also infers that those who have gone back to the tech workforce after having children can still earn decent salaries equivalent to their male counterparts, regardless of career breaks.
Preventing salary disparity
As an advocate for women working in STEM, WISE helps employers retain talented women in mid and senior management. When implemented, our recommendations should help to prevent some of the pay disparity shown in the data.
We recommend that employers:
- Create flexible, part-time or job share programmes to help women balance their home and work lives.
- Ensure transparency around promotion, pay and rewards.
- Offer flexible training programmes within core working hours.
- Create returners programmes with buddy systems to help reintegrate women into their skilled jobs.
- Encourage uptake of shared parental leave.
- Ensure that company actions and messaging let women know that they are valued by the organisation.