Men in IT paid more than women: survey

Average rates for men are higher, but some jobs pay women more

Six months after it was launched, AbsoluteIT’s salaries website for IT employees has thrown up a statistic that will probably come as little surprise to many – that men in IT in New Zealand are paid more than women.

In September, AbsoluteIT set up, where IT professionals are invited to anonymously give salary and other work details, with the aim of building a detailed picture of pay and benefits in the local IT industry.

In the period to the end of March, nearly 10,000 members of the industry here had given their details; that amounts to a quarter of those working in the industry, as Statistics NZ figures show 40,000 people are employed in the IT sector.

Of the 9,510 visitors to the site during the September to March period, 7,670 were permanent employees, and 1,776 were contractors; the remaining 64 were part-time or casual employees.

To date 6,098 men and 1,366 women have responded. The average salary from responses to the site was $77,500, or an $80,000 total package if an average $2,500 in cash benefits is added.

For contractors, the average rate was $80 per hour.

The salary figures showed a divergence between what is paid to men and women; men, on average, were paid $78,784, while women’s average earnings were $73,446.

(The male vs female figures were calculated from those respondents who were fulltime employees).

According to AbsoluteIT’s commentary accompanying the survey, “Some ICT disciplines showed significant gaps, with males being paid more.

“Those included architects, +35.4%; project management/team lead, 11.1%; IT management, 6%; and software developer, 10.8%.

“Bucking this trend, there are a few IT disciplines that had a lesser number of female respondents, but [in which] females enjoyed a higher remuneration level.

“These roles include network engineers, 6.9% higher; system administration, 8.65% higher; web/multimedia designer, 14.5%; and web/multimedia developer, 9.2% higher than their male counterparts.”

Some job categories contained insufficient data to make a comparison.

AbsoluteIT director Grant Burley says the extent of the difference between the earning power of men and women – approximately $5,000 – was a surprise.

“It was surprising that there’s still a gap,” he says.

He puts it down to the fact women don’t always negotiate as aggressively as men when they’re offered jobs.

“As a recruitment firm, we see evidence of that – when job offers are made, there’s less bargaining from female candidates”.

Burley was surprised at the extent of the pay difference in some skill sets, such as the male-dominated fields of architecture, software development and project management, but notes that other areas within IT, such as business analysts, saw no difference in pay.

Also, the fact that some areas, such as web/multimedia designers and developers, recorded higher salaries from women, was a pleasant surprise, he says.

Other facts and figures gleaned from the survey include: the median salary for CIOs was $151,000; for architects, $110,000; for management, $105,250; for software architects, $102,000. At the lower end of the skill scale the average pay for helpdesk/support was $47,000.

Median contract rates for architects and BI/CRM consultants were $110 per hour; for contract management, project manager/team leaders and software architects and ERP/Supply Chain consultants, median rates were $100 per hour. For helpdesk/support, the rate was $30 per hour.

When it comes to benefits, 34% of respondents get a mobile phone or mobile allowance; 30% are allowed to work flexible hours; 29% get company-paid training; 26% get healthcare subsidies; 24% get a car park; 12% get overtime payments; 11% get additional superannuation; 9% get a car and/or car allowance; 9% get extra annual leave; 7% get gym or health club membership; 5% get stock options; and 1% get child day care.

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