Developer Salaries Rise - But What About The Gender Gap?
Written by Janet Swift   
Wednesday, 26 November 2014

It's a well known and deplorable fact that women are under-represented in software development. Average pay for developers is increasing, but what are the salary differences between men and women?

Glassdoor is a jobs search website which gathers information about tech companies to produce ratings that indicate what it's like to work for specific companies.

Given the current focus on gender equality Glassdoor used information from employees to investigate differences in both job satisfaction and pay reported by men and women. 

Among a sample of 25 high-profile software and tech companies, there were six in which men and women reported the same level of satisfaction and four which bucked the trend with women being slightly more satisfied. In 15 companies women were less satisfied and in three of these there was a marked difference. The table also reveals the disparity between the number of male and female respondents: fewer than a quarter of the total of 37,096 were women.




Glassdoor's results for pay are based on a smaller number of respondents and the ratio of woman to men is even smaller, in the region of 1:9. This may be due to a general reticence on the part of women to report their salary, or an indication that women are not as dependent on Glassdoor's job finding services.




On its blog the Glassdoor interpretation of this findings is that men report earning a higher base salary than women for the same role. Glassdoor asks:


What causes men to have a head start in these roles? And, if more women study technology and pursue careers in the industry, will we see the gap in compensation narrow? 

Glassdoor also pulls out specific companies for comment noting that at Microsoft there is a $6,000 discrepancy in favor of men when you look at the salaries of those with the job role Software Development Engineer with women, What is equally disturbing about the Microsoft figures is that the proportion of women decreases as seniority (and pay) increases. 

Glassdoor note that at Google women software engineers report earning an annual base salary of $117,740 (with 3.5 years experience), more than $4,000 more than men with 3.9 years experience in the same role. Could the figures here be distorted by aggregating data from different Google sites. Are are a greater proportion of Google's women software developers in the US where salaries are higher.

Amazon is a company which now publicly discloses its workforce diversity demographics with a view to promoting transparency and equality within the workplace, When you correct pay to take into account length of time in post - after all most employees receive annual pay increases - then the gender gap tends to disappear. Even so, the small ratio of women and the way it shrinks going from entry level to the higher echelon means there is still cause for concern about discrimination against women in top tech companies.


The good news, from Business Insider,  is that technical salaries in general have increased with the average base salary of a software engineer in the US now being $97,098.





This chart is based on a salary survey of 3,600 software engineer salary reports in the US, and a smaller number in Europe.


The inclusion of data from Europe tends to depress the figures although European software engineers have seen a 9% increase in the last year. According to Business Insider, salaries in Europe average €43,536 ($55,329) before bonuses are paid, compared to  €39,498 ($50,198) in 2013.



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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 26 November 2014 )