Frank Sinatra's iconic version of New York, New York has inspired droves of highly motivated and talented peoples from all walks of life to hang their hat in The Big Apple to pursue dreams of becoming the next J.P. Morgan. But while there are a million reasons to love living in The Big Apple, working in technology as a woman may not be one of them.
In June, gender pay gap information was collected and compiled by Comparably, a salary-comparison website that tracks a number of statistics based on employee skill sets and compensation. The company surveyed over 10,000 employees in the tech industry and analyzed the gender pay gap with respect to several categories: age, ethnicity, education, location, and department. The report revealed some interesting facts about pay inequality in the tech industry as a whole, but also in The City that Never Sleeps.
1. The older a woman is the less salary difference. Women entering the Tech work-force have the largest disparity with their male counterparts, while women over 50 have the least. Women aged 18-25 have the largest pay gap with Men of the same age, making 29% less across all jobs in tech. Women 50 and older have the least disparity with Men of the same age in Tech, making 5% less.
2. Race is a relevant factor. Caucasians and African Americans had the largest gender pay gap with 26% and 24% respectively, while Hispanic/Latinos and Native Americans had the lowest pay gap with just 10% and 2% respectively.
3. Having "Some College" education may really hurt you. In an unexpected twist, the largest gap in Tech exists when employees have "Some College" education. The "Some College" gap represents a huge 49% gap between men and women, while the lowest pay gap is when employees have an Associate's Degree at just 6%.
4. Geographic location is key. However, the most surprising revelation is the impact that geographic location had on gender pay inequality and compensation disparity. The study reviewed 16 of the largest cities in the U.S. Some of the cities performed distinctly better based on pay gap, but regardless, a gap still existed. Leading in the gap race is Atlanta, where women earn on average $43,000 less per year than men, representing a gap of 72 percent. Not too far behind are Minneapolis and Washington D.C. with a pay gap of 52 and 51 percent, respectively. And rounding out the top five worst cities were Chicago at 45 percent and Austin at 41 percent.
Conversely, Salt Lake City had the smallest pay gap for women working in the tech industry at 10 percent, with Dallas at 15 percent, followed by San Francisco at 20 percent. The top five best cities based on gender pay gap were Denver at 24 percent followed by New York and Portland, which tied at 25 percent. Most importantly, this study represents women well into their careers and not just starting out. The survey reveals that younger women just starting out face even larger pay gap hill to climb, making the choice of city even more vital.
Although New York was in the top 5 cities with the smallest pay gap, that gap is a whopping 25% difference. In New York, the average woman who works full time makes 86 percent of what a man makes, putting the tech sector in the "fail" category. Nonetheless, New York is attempting to close the gap by passing Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2015 to combat it. One part of the legislation prohibits employers from requiring employees that they can't discuss pay at work, making it easier for women to find out if they are being under paid.
This is exactly the scenario that Lilly Ledbetter found herself in. She didn’t know she had been discriminated against until someone wrote her an anonymous note 19 years later. The legislation also closed the exemptions allowing for gender-based pay differentials established on seniority, merit, productivity, and “any other factor other than sex.” Companies will have to prove that a gender difference is job-related and justifiable for the business.
While New York is trying and, at the very least, recognizes the pay disparity faced by women there is still a pay differential in the Tech industry that is well under the New York average. In an ideal world, women should be able to pursue any opportunity where ever the skills and abilities can take them without worrying about not making as much as Bob in the next cubicle. But unfortunately, we haven't reached that utopia yet.