Tech Is a Great Place for Women, Minorities, CEO Says

Because of an emphasis on work performance, the IT industry is one of the best fields for women and ethnic and racial minorities, said Scot Melland, president and CEO of, the online job board for technology, engineering and security-cleared professionals.

“Performance in your job is much more easily measured, whether you’re running a system appropriately, your programs work well or the code you write is very efficient and good,” Melland said. “I think these things are easily measured, which makes it more of a meritocracy.”

According to’s 2004 Salary Survey, out of the top five industries in which professional women’s income is closest to men’s, four are specific to IT: computer hardware, telecommunications, Internet services and computer software, in that order. Government/defense came in fifth. In fact, women earn slightly more than men in the computer hardware field. “Overall, technology is a great place to be if you’re a woman or a minority, because I think there are highly skilled, great-paying positions,” Melland said. “I think as you move up the educational and skills ladders, the gender gap decreases.”

Other findings of the salary survey include a fall in IT professionals’ income overall. According to the study, technology salaries in the United States dipped 2.6 percent from an average of $69,600 in 2003 to $67,800 in 2004. Notably, 18- to 24-year-olds saw a 13.5 percent decrease in their salary, and PC technicians’ and help desk workers’ incomes dropped between 9 percent and 10 percent.…



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