We've just observed Equal Pay Day. The fact that such a thing has to exist is frustrating, but not as frustrating as the numbers we’re about to share with you.
You might think that things are getting better. But according to the American Association of University Women, things aren’t. The group recently analyzed wage parity progress. Their findings showed that if the wage gap continues to close at its current rate, men and women won’t be paid equally for equal work until 2152. That’s right: you and I won’t live to see it. And our children probably won’t either.
Noting this statistic, and in order to shed light on the problem, Hired took Equal Pay Day as an opportunity to crunch its tech industry wage data. As with the Association of University Women, the findings were dire.
Overall, Hired found that, in tech, women make less than men for the same work 63 percent of the time. How much less? On average, four percent less, but up to 50 percent less.
Does race play a factor? As a matter of fact, it does. Black women are paid the least; white men, surprising no one, are paid the most. For every dollar a white male tech worker makes, a black woman in the same job makes 79 cents. At least, Hired thinks so — the authors of its study note that they had to develop a special model to reach that number, as there were too few black women employees to perform a direct comparison.
Women in the LGBTQ community make about 10 percent less than their white male counterparts. No data were available for black women in the LGBTQ community, but extrapolating, one imagines the gap to be more of a canyon.
Let’s put all those percents into dollars. Say Google hires a straight, white engineer at $120,000 per year. Following the 79 cents to a dollar numbers, if it hired a black woman alongside him, she would make $94,800 a year.
You might say, “I wouldn’t mind making $94,000 a year.” Neither would most Americans, but fair’s fair, and remember, too, that’s an average.
If we look at the most extreme cases that Hired found, where women make 50 percent of what their male colleagues do, our example woman would instead be making $60,000, while her white male co-worker, doing the same job, would take home $120,000.
And, as saddening as all that is, it bears mentioning that the wage gap problem is faced only by women who can get in the door. Hired found that 53 percent of the time no women at all were interviewed for open tech positions.
That 2152 target is making all the more sense now. Let us suggest a novel idea: companies, hiring managers, stop trying to save a buck, stop offering people as little as you can get away with, stop discriminating based on skin color and gender. Pay people as much as you can, and pay them what they are worth.