As tech salaries rise, gender and race gaps remain
- Transportation, education and communication are the best industries for tech workers, according to Hired's 2018 technology salaries report. The global average tech salary in 2017 was $135,000, and salaries in tech hubs outside of Silicon Valley, such as Austin, Lost Angeles and Washington, D.C., are rising to compete with the Bay area.
- But benefits of the tech industry are not split equally across tech workers. White tech workers continue to make the most money with an average salary of $136,000. Average salaries for Asian, Black and Hispanic workers are $3,000–$6,000 less.
- Salaries slowly rise for tech workers until the mid-40s, when they plateau around $150,000. But when getting started, younger tech workers tend to undervalue their worth and ask for lower salaries than they are offered. Around the mid-30s, workers start receiving lower salaries than they request.
The Hired report is a reminder that while tech jobs have many points to laud, including high salaries and wide-ranging benefits, the industry realizes there is work to be done. In addition to the pay discrepancies between races, ethnicities and genders, there is a representation problem throughout tech jobs and industries.
Fair representation becomes reality when it starts at the top, but the higher ranks are also steeped in prominent inequality. Leadership opportunities for women and minorities lag. For example, Asians make up the largest demographic in the tech industry yet are among the least likely to rise to the top. And women of racial and ethnic minorities face even tougher odds for advancement.
Getting women into fields like cybersecurity, where only 11% of the workforce is women, is challenging because many women never got the necessary exposure and training to succeed. But as generations shift in the workforce, women are demanding more opportunities for advancement and raises.
Prioritizing a diverse applicant pool and promoting diversity from within often falls to the wayside. It can be a challenge to remain competitive in an industry where the average salary for 20-24 year old tech workers is $113,000 and overall salaries have been rising for years. Because diverse workforces have been shown to be more creative and innovative, investments in equal opportunity and diversity early on will be of benefit in the long run.
Companies can be vocal about diversity and inclusion, but unless their numbers match their claims they may not be able to avoid sticky PR situations.
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