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Why the 'position Gap' Is More Important Than the Wage Gap For Women in Tech

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A woman shattering a glass ceiling as she climbs the corporate ladder.

A study by a Harvard University labor economist has found the tech sector exhibiting far less gender inequality than other fields, at least in terms of wages.


Despite the recent focus on the bias against women in the technology sector, research has shown that, at least in terms of wages, the tech sector is far less unequal than other fields.

A 2104 analysis by Harvard labor economist Claudia Goldin found female engineering managers make about as much as their male counterparts and female programmers and computer scientists make about 90 percent of what their male counterparts make. Meanwhile, female financial specialists make only two-thirds of what their male colleagues do.

However, researchers note there is a more important gap in the tech sector, which has been called the "position gap." Women are far less likely to move up the ladder into higher-paid positions in the tech sector. "A woman might be doing a job where she's paid relatively equal to her peers, but there are a lot of men with similar qualifications who are at levels above her," says the Anita Borg Institute's Elizabeth Ames.

A recent Dice survey found the top 10 tech positions held by men almost all paid more than the 10 top tech positions held by women. Diversity reports also have shown that women are less well-represented in technical and leadership positions, where compensation tends to be higher.

From The Washington Post
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