Earlier this month we released our "Women, Work and The State of Wage Inequality" research report to coincide with the UK's Equal Pay Day. The data, which analyzed the differences in men's and women's salaries based on their role, years of experience and the size company they work for, found that on average women in tech can expect to earn 9% less than their male counterparts. That's a staggering £5,000 a year.
To advance the conversation on this vital issue, Hired hosted a panel discussion that brought together technology leaders and women's rights advocates. Using our research findings as the basis of discussion, the event provided an opportunity for our panelists and audience members to explore the gender pay gap, the reasons behind its existence and, most importantly, what we can do to address it. Led by Computer Weekly's Clare McDonald, the panel featured Hired's own Chief Marketplace Officer Juney Ham; Sam Smethers, CEO of the Fawcett Society; Sheila Flavell, FDM's Chief Operating Officer and board member for techUK; Hermione Way, head of communications at Plexal; and Melissa Trahan, Thread's head of talent.
Topics of discussion included why the wage gap persists in an industry known for being as progressive as the technology industry, the responsibility that companies bear in reducing the wage gap, and tips for women who are seeking to command better pay.
Melissa Trahan from Thread commented, "Early stage businesses, in particular, often have a set budget for recruiting a role. They have a board telling them what to spend. That can limit the scope to pay proper market rates to employees. At Thread, we do an anonymous survey of friends in the industry so we can find out what people earn in different roles, and we use that to set our salary levels. Getting the salary levels correct is on us as much as on the person coming in."
While the panelists' viewpoints often differed, there were some clear areas of agreement. The need to remove gender bias from early STEM education was championed unanimously, as was the need for more female inspiration in a sector often dominated by male expertise.
On this topic, techUK's Sheila Flavell brought up an interesting point: "Tech's gender gap starts in school. But we need to address the influencers here: parents and teachers. If they don't understand technology and the gender issues involved, how can we expect the kids to?"
At Hired we are passionate about equality in the workplace. Our hope is that by releasing this data we can ignite more discussion, inform employees and encourage employers to consider their own compensation policies. We believe that by using data we have the power to change the status quo. Stay tuned for more data on this topic and events in your city.