Female Programmers Make 90% of Male Programmers’ Salaries. Should We Celebrate? 

April 29, 2014

4:02 pm

According to research cited in the New York Times, women in tech jobs make almost as much as their male counterparts – with female computer programmers making 90 percent of men’s salaries.

Here’s the graph from the New York Times – it includes not just startup or tech companies, but any company with a tech department:

The Times article goes on to explain the phenomenon: lots of tech jobs are flexible – without set working hours or offices. In other industries, employees have more opportunity – and more men take that opportunity – to work longer or less convenient hours and get paid a higher rate.  

That amounts to saying: women make less money because they choose more flexible arrangements, which are paid at a lower rate. It’s our fault – or at least our choice. 

While that may be a “key reason” for the difference, it’s not the whole story. Some women are still simply getting paid less for doing the same work. Plus, some flexible work arrangements may be just as valuable as regular work arrangements – but get paid less because companies perceive flexible workers to be less committed, prioritizing family or personal concerns over work. 

In other words, attitudes still need to change. A 10 percent pay gap may look great when compared to gaps of 30-35 percent, but it’s nothing to brag about in the year 2014. 


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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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