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State of Wage Inequality in the UK Tech Industry 2023

The UK still has progress to make in closing its wage gap. Despite economic challenges and tighter budgets, prioritising DEI is a must due to the profound impact it has on organisations of all sizes. A 2021 McKinsey report revealed companies prioritising racial and ethnic diversity were 36% more likely to achieve above-average financial returns. Combating bias in hiring creates an inclusive environment and enhances a company’s reputation.

In the 2023 State of Wage Inequality report, we examined proprietary data to explore hiring and wage parity in tech. 

The aim of this study is twofold. We want to arm tech talent of all backgrounds with the knowledge they need to negotiate fair pay and stand up to discrimination. We also want to help companies understand their role in reaching pay equality and empower them to create a welcoming workplace for all. 

So we’re on the same page, here’s a short glossary: 

  • Wage Gap: The difference in salaries between two defined demographic groups.
  • Expectation Gap: The difference in preferred salary between various groups (i.e. what the candidate lists on their Hired profile as their preferred salary).
  • Opportunity Gap: The difference between employment opportunities for different groups of people, based on identifiers such as race, age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, and more.

In this blog, we share wage inequality data in the UK related to the:

  • Gender wage gap
  • Gender and race wage gap
  • Gender and race expectation gap
  • Wage and expectation by age
  • Wage and expectation by years of experience 

Since 2019, when looking at positions across the US, Canada, and the UK, the median gender wage gap has narrowed. The gender wage gap overall was -1.8% in 2021 and narrowed to -1.2% in 2022. However, a more granular view of each country shows the UK and Canada have a widening gender wage gap while this gap in the US continues to narrow.

Related: Empower Your Career: Understanding Salary Inequality in Tech (2023 Research)

Gender Wage Gap By Country

Race and Gender Wage Gap in the UK

Wage gap widened for all non-white race and gender groups in 2022

Race and Gender Expectation Gap in the UK

Expectation gaps widened for all non-white male groups and narrowed for White women and Asian Women

Wage and Expectation Gap by Age in the UK

Wage and Expectation Gap by Years of Experience in the UK 

Gender wage + expectation gap widest for women with 0-2 YoE

A hopeful future for the UK tech industry?

Despite persistent wage and hiring bias, there are still reasons to be optimistic. Organisations are actively combating inequality and have a range of strategies they can adopt to create more fair and equitable processes. 

Related: Awareness to Action: How to Build a Fair and Inclusive Hiring Process (VIDEO)

For example, anonymizing resumes prevents biases related to personal information such as names, gender, or age. Structured interviews, where all candidates are asked the same questions, reduce subjective judgments.

Related: Breaking Through Bias: How to Overcome Tech Discrimination & Get the Job You Want (VIDEO)

By championing fairness in compensation and bringing visibility to wage inequality, we are forging a path forward to more equitable workplaces in which employees can reach their full potential. 

Ready to hire top tech talent in the UK? Get a customized demo of Hired.