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A third of LGBTQIA+ people in tech believe there is a wage gap

Research has found wage gaps across the technology sector, with LGBT+ people, BAME individuals and women being paid less than their white, straight, male counterparts

A third of LGBTQIA+ people working in the technology sector believe there is a wage gap between themselves and heterosexual people in the industry, according to research.

The finding was from study by career marketplace Hired of about 1,300 UK tech workers, and salary data from thousands of interview requests and job offers. A quarter of the LGBT+ people surveyed said they had found they were being paid £10,000 to £14,999 less than a heterosexual colleague.

While a majority of LGBT+ people in tech do not claim to have suffered from discrimination in the workplace, female members of the LGBT+ community are more likely to suffer from harassment than LGBT+ men.

Gordon Smith, general manager, Europe at Hired, said many companies in the tech sector are doing what they can to address inequality, but it is still important to highlight the issues.

“Our study sheds light on the issue by showcasing that the overall landscape is in need of progress as the gender pay gap and discrimination against all minorities remains an issue that urgently needs to be solved,” he said.

Many young people who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community claim to have avoided the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) sector because of fears of discrimination.

However, diversity gaps in the tech sector are not confined to the LGBT+ community, which makes up just 8% of the tech sector – 68% of whom identify as female, 22% as male and 7% as non-binary.

The tech sector is predominantly white – 66% of workers are in this category – while 3% of tech sector workers are black, 6% are mixed race, 17% are Asian, 10% considers themselves “neurodiverse”, and women account for only 18% of the tech sector.

Non-white people in all roles across the UK believe the region suffers from an ethnicity gap, with 38% having experienced discrimination at work because of their ethnicity.

Some efforts have been made in the UK to increase diversity in the sector, but some observers have said that in order to encourage more black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) individuals into the sector, firms should intentionally seek out black talent.

Read more about diversity in the tech sector

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Black people are hugely under-represented in the UK technology sector, and women in tech roles are less likely to be white.

For women of all ethnicities in the UK tech sector, their salaries are about 4% less, on average, than their male counterparts, which means the gap has closed by one percentage point year on year.

This varies depending on role and employer. In 61% of cases, men are offered a higher salary than women for the same role, and almost 70% of women ask for lower salaries than their male peers.

Despite work to encourage women into the tech sector, the number of women in STEM has remained static for years, with the tech sector workforce being about 18% women.

One in 10 people in the sector consider themselves neurodiverse, and 71% of these people say they are not taken seriously in the workplace.

Half of this community overall do think they receive adequate support in the workplace for being neurodiverse, but 54% of BAME people who are neurodiverse do not feel they have the support they need.

Computer Weekly’s 2019 most influential woman in UK tech, Debbie Forster, CEO of the Tech Talent Charter, has said that although it is important to try to shift the dial and increase diversity in the tech sector, nothing will change without also focusing on inclusion to ensure people feel welcome to join the industry and come to work.

Read more on Diversity in IT

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