Thought for the day: A fair-minded industry?

Despite its reputation of being ageist and sexist, a recent salary survey shows that critics of the IT industry might be wrong,...

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Despite its reputation of being ageist and sexist,  a recent salary survey shows that critics of the IT industry might be wrong, says Viv Andrews.




The IT industry has taken a few knocks to its reputation of late. Commentators have accused the sector of being ageist and sexist and of paying rapidly decreasing salaries.

But our latest research shows that women aged above 36 who are working in IT are likely to be some of the top earning women in their sector.

These latest findings are sourced from more than 70,000 individuals from 750 UK companies which registered with

Registrants anonymously enter their salary details to obtain a detailed report on how their salary compares with others.

According to data collected from PayFinder members:

  • IT is the most lucrative sector, with a higher average salary than the banking and finance industry
  • The top industries for women in terms of salary are IT, the internet, e-commerce, new media and marketing
  • These sectors pay some of the highest salaries to people aged 36 and over.

With an average salary of above £28,000, IT tops the list of highest paying industries, followed by banking and finance, telecommunications, new media and advertising.

Web development and design roles are by far the most abundant in new media, and chief executive and director roles average a salary of £52,000, about 11% higher than the average director's salary.

IT support roles are the most popular. IT director roles are the least common, with just 1% of members occupying the post, although some receive more than £80,000. A gender divide still exists across all industries, with women earning 23% less than men. However, in IT and new media this drops to 17% and, in some roles, women are paid more. For example, female web developers earn 27% more than men in the same position.

For both the 36-40 and 41-50 age brackets, new media is the highest paying sector, where 36 to 40-year-olds can expect to earn 44% more and 41 to 50-year-olds earn 58% more than the average salary. As a comparison, our study shows that 21 to 25-year-olds working in IT earn just 13% more than the national average.

Although the industry has been accused of ageism, our statistics suggest that the younger age groups are in the minority and that the sector is keen to reward experience. 

What do you think?

Do these statistics reflect your own experience? Tell us in an e-mail >> reserves the right to edit and publish answers on the website. Please state if your answer is not for publication.

Viv Andrews is a business development manager at

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