Salary Survey Extra: Do men in IT networking earn more than women?

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Salary Survey Extra is a series of dispatches that give added insight into the findings of both our annual Salary Survey and our smaller Salary Survey PLUS polls. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Do men and women in IT receive comparable salaries?Short answer: Yes. Does it surprise you to learn that there’s a gender pay gap in IT? It feels like equal pay for equal work should be the rule in 2016, but it would seem that IT is not immune to the general inertia that keeps female salaries in check across many other industries.

Earlier this week, the British Computer Society released its Women in IT Scorecard, a wide-ranging assessment of the challenges still faced both by an industry that needs more workers, and the women who are and are not taking its jobs. By comparison with previous findings, there hasn’t been much change in the past handful of years.

Among its other revelations, the BCS report found that women in tech professions tend still to be paid considerably less than their male counterparts. So that got us to thinking about how we do salary research and crunch numbers all the time around here. Are female IT pros in the United States dealing with a similar set of circumstances?

The answer is a qualified yes. Far more men typically respond to our surveys than women (roughly paralleling the much-discussed gender employment gap that crosses all IT specializations), so our data about female salaries is not as robust as we’d like.

Nevertheless, when you taking into account all U.S. professionals who responded to our recent Salary Survey PLUS that focused on networking certifications, women, on average, earn less than men. Average annual salary for all U.S. women in 2016 is $72,330, while the comparable figure for U.S. men is $77,470.

So on average, men in the networking sphere take home a little more than $5,000 more per year than women. To get a clearer picture, we cross-referenced salary and years of professional networking employment. Here’s what we found:

Years of Professional Networking ExperienceAverage Annual Salary (Men)Salary Ceiling* (Men)Average Annual Salary (Women)Salary Ceiling* (Women)
1 to 3$53,900$130K to $135K$49,300$80K to $85K
4 to 6$69,420$180K to $190K$56,500$85K to $90K
7 to 9$78,410$200K or moreN/A$110K to $120K
10 or more$92,300$200K or more$89,710$200K or more

* Salary Ceiling is the highest annual income reported by any respondent in the group.

One item of note is the Salary Ceiling, or the highest annual income reported by any member of the group. By the time that we get to networking professionals who have 10 or more years of experience, both genders are represented at the top of the pecking order. At each of the other three experience levels, however, the top-salaried make considerably more than the top-salaried women.

We didn’t have enough female respondents in the 7-to-9 years of experience group to calculate a reliable average salary, but even there, the top salary reported among all women was quite a bit smaller than top salary reported among all men. And in the three other professional experience groupings, the average annual salary for men is higher than that for women.

Like the wider working world, the IT realm may have come a long way in some respects when it comes to gender equality, but there is clearly still ground to be made up.

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CertMag Staff


Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

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