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UK tech has 2.8% gender ‘wage gap’, says Hired

The wage offered to women for tech jobs in the UK is 2.8% less than offered to male counterparts – a larger gap than in the US and Canada, says Hired

Tech jobs in the UK have larger “wage gaps” than in the US and Canada, according to research by job marketplace Hired.

Looking at data from its platform, Hired found that tech jobs in the UK have a 2.8% gap in the wage offered to male candidates as opposed to female candidates, compared with 2.4% in Canada, and 1.6% in the US.

While there has been a drop in the number of tech jobs across all three of these regions only requesting interviews from male candidates, from 42.4% in 2020 to 36.7% in 2021, Hired found that women are less likely to be offered interview requests than male candidates – in 2021, female candidates were 13% less likely to receive an interview request than their male counterparts.

The firm also found that although women account for 19% of the potential candidate pool for tech positions, only 16.8% received interview requests.

“As more companies globally embrace remote work, it levels the playing field by expanding access for all candidates,” said Josh Brenner, CEO of Hired CEO.

“Even though employers are more likely now than ever to consider women during the hiring process and to give equitable salary offers, women are still underrepresented overall and less likely to receive an interview compared to men.”

A lack of diversity in the UK’s tech sector has been a longstanding issue – recent research by the BCS found that women accounted for 17% of IT specialists in the UK, and around 8% of IT specialists are of Indian ethnicity, 2% from a black, African, Caribbean or black British background, and 2% from a Pakistani or Bangladeshi background.

There is also a significant pay gap for many of these underrepresented groups, usually because white men are more likely to reach higher paid positions in an organisation – in 2016, a study found that women in the UK technology industry make on average 9% less than their male counterparts, despite there being no obvious reason for the gap.

These issues have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, where women were disproportionately affected as a result of the types of roles they had, the nature of the industries that more heavily employ women, and – in many cases – women shouldering the burden of care for children and the elderly.

Hired found a slight drop in the number of positions being offered to women for a lower average salary than offered to men – in 2019, 66.4% of tech positions in the UK, US and Canada were offering women a lower average wage than men, compared with 63.2% in 2020 and 61.8% in 2021.

The pay gap between men and women in tech varies due to a variety of factors, including role, region and ethnic background.

When it comes to tech roles, female product managers are actually more likely to be offered slightly more than male counterparts in the US and Canada, or the same in the UK, whereas females in DevOps in the UK are offered around 7.5% less than their male counterparts.

When it comes to software engineers in the UK, women are offered around 3.3% less than men in the field, and in design women are offered 2.1% less.

The gap in the UK is smaller when it comes to data analytics, with women offered 1.5% less than men. In Canada, women are offered around 5.4% more than men in the same role.

In 2018, people from a black background in tech were offered 4.3% less than their white counterparts for tech roles – in 2021, the wage gap for this group had reduced to 1.8%.

The wage gap has also been closing for people from Hispanic backgrounds, who in 2018 were offered 2.9% less than their white counterparts, compared with 0.4% less in 2021.

In 2021, people from an Asian background were actually likely to be offered 0.4% more than their white counterparts, an improvement from 1.3% less in 2018.

There was also a year-on-year (YoY) increase in the number of roles only offered to either white or Asian candidates, from 61.4% in 2020 to 49% in 2021.

When looking at both gender and ethnicity in the US in 2021, black women only made $0.92 for every $1 made by a white male counterpart, making the largest wage gap in US tech between white men and black women.

In 2021, Hispanic women made $0.93 for every $1 made by white male counterparts, and white women and black men both made $0.95 for every $1 white males in tech make.

A very small wage gap also exists for LGBTQIA+ people in UK tech, with people from this group being offered a wage around 0.3% less than those who are not LGBTQIA+.

To help solve these problems, Hired recommended upskilling and cross-industry partnerships – the UK government’s Science and Technology Committee recently launched an inquiry into the lack of diversity in UK STEM, with evidence from some of its first meetings suggesting visible and accessible role models could make a difference to encouraging young people from different backgrounds into the sector.

Read more about STEM diversity

  • Retailer H&M launches its first ever STEM programme in the UK in a move to become a more diverse and inclusive organisation – and to tap into future tech talent.
  • BCS report says the UK can take an international lead in AI ethics if it cultivates a more diverse workforce, including people from non-STEM backgrounds.

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