Women, Work and the State of Wage Inequality

Despite the nearly 50 years that have passed since the Women’s Liberation Movement, the issue of equal opportunities and equal pay for women persists to this day. Even in Silicon Valley, one of the most forward-thinking corners of the world, women continue to earn less than men. To better understand why this gap persists, and in honor of Equal Pay Day 2016, Hired set out to analyze its massive salary data set across gender, location, role and company type. Because Hired candidates set a preferred salary and all interview requests made by companies on the platform include compensation details, Hired has unprecedented visibility into the salaries that men and women ask for and what companies, in turn, offer them. The data in this report was pulled from an analysis of more than 100,000 job offers across 15,000 candidates and 3,000 companies on Hired’s platform. Our hope is that the findings in this report will address this issue in two ways. First, by providing insight into the issue of gender bias in the workforce, we want to encourage companies to investigate their compensation policies to ensure that they don’t perpetuate patterns of inequality. Second, we want to arm women with information about this phenomenon to empower them to ask for their market worth. This issue certainly won’t be solved overnight, but with both sides working together, we’ll all be on a path to a more equitable future.

Women Are Offered Less Than Men for the Same Roles

On average, we found companies offer women 3% less than men for the same roles, with some companies offering as low as 30% less. In fact, our data—which spans technology, sales and marketing roles—shows that
69% of the time, men receive higher salary offers than women for the same job title at the same company.
It’s difficult to determine whether this is a symptom of unconscious gender bias in the hiring process or results from an ongoing cycle of women being underpaid, setting their salary expectations too low, and ultimately receiving less in subsequent roles. Companies can combat this phenomenon by determining an individual’s salary based on the market value for his or her skills, experience and location, instead of current wages, which could be influenced by past biases or inequities.

Distribution of the Gender Wage Gap

Distribution of the gender wage gap
The fact that the graph is wide and skews to the right indicates that there is high variation in the salaries offered to men and women for the same role and the same company, and that the number of times women are offered less than men is greater than the reverse.

The Wage Gap is Lowest at Seed Stage Companies

We dug further into this data by looking specifically at software engineer salary offers at companies of different sizes.
Interestingly, smaller bootstrapped and seed stage companies have a gender wage gap that is half that of larger corporations, and those that have taken on more advanced funding.
One explanation for this is smaller companies have more institutional transparency into the salaries of everyone on the team, which can ultimately negate possible gender pay disparities. Another possibility is that these companies have less flexibility around base salary and are more likely to have larger compensation fluctuations in the equity piece of their offers.
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Software Engineer Wage Gap by Company Size

The “Expectation Gap”

One of the most noteworthy findings in our report relates to what’s known as the “expectation gap.” Overall, Hired’s data shows that the average woman on our platform sets her expected salary at $14k less per year than the average man on our platform. When we break the expectation gap down by role —comparing women and men in the same job category—
we found as the ratio of men to women in the role increases, so does the gap.

Expectation Gap by Role

wage expectation gap by years of experience

More Experience, Wider Gap

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Expectation Gap by Years of Experience

Expectation gap by years of experience
The expectation gap tends to widen as years of experience increase.
While our data set buckets all candidates with more than six years of experience together, we have reason to believe that this pattern continues and becomes even more exaggerated as an an individual progresses in his or her career. These findings highlight the importance of ensuring equal pay early on, as even the smallest discrepancies in salary become compounded over time.

Equal Wages Not Far Off?

Final Offer Salaries to Candidates with 0-2 Years of Experience

Final offers in early career
One of the most promising findings we uncovered relates to the entry level candidates on our platform. Women with under two years of experience are asking for an average 2% more compensation than men. And, notably, they’re getting what they’re asking for:
final salaries for junior women hired on our platform are 7% higher than junior men.
One hypothesis for this phenomenon is that this cohort—which is likely on the cusp of Generation Z and Millenial—have been raised at a time when traditional gender roles have had far less influence than in the past. Recent research has also shown that Generation Z has a strong sense of self confidence and a strong belief in equal treatment for everyone. Whatever the reason, we see this as a positive sign that the expectation gap could be closing.
One hypothesis for this phenomenon is that this cohort—which is likely on the cusp of Generation Z and Millenial—have been raised at a time when traditional gender roles have had far less influence than in the past. Recent research has also shown that Generation Z has a strong sense of self confidence and a strong belief in equal treatment for everyone. Whatever the reason, we see this as a positive sign that the expectation gap could be closing.

Offers Increase With Expectations

It’s not just encouraging for entry level candidates. In fact, our data shows that women who ask for the same salary as men in the same role tend to get offers in line with what they are asking. So, one of the most important conclusions from this report is that women who know their worth in the interview and job hunting process can command a salary on par with men.

Methodology

This report is based on proprietary information gathered and analyzed by Hired’s lead product data scientist, Dr. Jessica Kirkpatrick. At the time this report was generated, candidates were unable to enter demographic data such as gender so the majority of the analysis in this study was done using a classifier that identified the gender of the candidate based on their first name. In addition, Kirkpatrick cross-analyzed the results of the name classifier with the pronouns used in the letters of recommendation submitted by candidates through the Hired platform. Only data from candidates with unambiguous gender classifications were used in this report. The salaries included in the report reflect more than 100,000 interview requests and job offers from the past year facilitated through our marketplace of more than 3,000 unique participating companies and 15,000 job seekers.

About Hired

Hired is a career marketplace for the world’s knowledge workers. Starting with in-demand tech, sales and marketing roles, we’re bringing together job seekers with the companies who want to hire them. Users on the Hired platform receive objective guidance throughout the interview process from a dedicated Talent Advocate, as well as the ability to compare new opportunities side by side so they can make their next career move with confidence. Employers get access to a hand-picked pool of candidates who are interested in new roles, as well as unmatched transparency into competing offers so they can recruit and hire with insight. The end result is an efficient, effective and enjoyable experience that’s far faster than traditional methods. Hired is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in more than a dozen cities in North America, Europe and APAC and plans to expand to a variety of industries and job categories. Follow Hired online at: www.hired.com, and join the conversation via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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