Salary Survey Extra: Do women and men have comparable IT salaries?

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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Are women and men in the same ballpark when it comes to IT salary?Anything you can do, I can do better. That’s what Annie Oakley says — or rather, sings — in Irving Berlin’s iconic stage musical Annie Get Your Gun (there’s a movie version, too). The implication that women and men are equally capable in general, and that women are sometimes better at given activity than men, has echoed (musically) through the decades since the original Broadway production in 1946.

Not that saying (or singing) necessarily makes it so. But if, generally speaking, women and men are equally capable — and, showtunes aside, there’s good reason to assume that they are — then it follows that one could expect them to be equally compensated in the workplace. One could expect that, of course, but one would be hard pressed to find many real-world examples.

As we’ve learned from past Salary Surveys, IT follows the general trend of male workers being monetarily more valued than their female counterparts, a trend that showed up again this year. Among the 86 percent of U.S. survey respondents who are men, the average annual salary in 2017 was $116,680. For women (who accounted for 14 percent of all U.S. responses), the comparable figure is $108,390.

Among certified IT professionals in the United States, then, women on average earned roughly 7 percent less than men. The disparity is marginally smaller (a difference of roughly 6 percent) outside the United States, but still present. The 89.9 percent of non-U.S. survey respondents who are men had an average annual salary of $54,660, compared to $51,570 for women.

We also looked at the gender income gap generationally. Are women and men unequally compensated at every age bracket? We divided workers into three groups by age, looking at the young (age 34 and younger), the middle-aged (between the ages of 35 and 54), and the pre-retirement crowd (age 55 and older). Here’s what we found:


AgeAverage Annual Salary (Men)Percentage of all male respondents in this age bracketAverage Annual Salary (Women)Percentage of all female respondents in this age bracket
34 and younger$83,68014.7 percent$82,72017.1 percent
35 to 54$120,58059.9 percent$105,51249.4 percent
55 and older$127,31025.4 percent$125,71033.5 percent

2017 Salary Data

It’s interesting to note that, in the United States, women and men are much closer together at either end of the age spectrum. In both cases, when entering the workforce and becoming established, as well as when preparing to exit, men are still better paid — but not by much.  The real disparity is found in those middle 20 years.


AgeAverage Annual Salary (Men)Percentage of all male respondents in this age bracketAverage Annual Salary (Women)Percentage of all female respondents in this age bracket
34 and younger$37,00046.2 percent$38,38058.9 percent
35 to 54$68,28049.8 percent$65,55037.8 percent
55 and older$89,1404 percent$103,3303.3 percent

2017 Salary Data

Outside the United States, earnings for women are actually outpacing those of men at the beginning and end of the career timeline. Men are doing better during those middle years, but not by as much as you’d expect. Certainly the gap is nothing like what we found in the United States.


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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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