One of the hottest subjects in the Valley, and all over the country these days it the gender pay gap. The gender pay gap has affected some of the most powerful tech companies on the planet, and thanks to more public/transparent data, the tech industry (in particular) can finally take action to remedy the issue.
The fact remains that women should not be paid less for equivalent work, and equivalent roles as men.
I recently had the chance to chat with Mehul Patel, the CEO of Hired.com (Disclosure: I'm a small shareholder in Hired.com). Hired is the largest career marketplace on the planet, and has plenty of data on what types of offers are made to different functions across different genders.
69 Percent of the Time, Men Receive Higher Salary Offers than Women
Hired compiled data across multiple functions on its platform, and concluded that men receive higher job offers than women across essentially every function. I asked Patel about this point, and here were his thoughts:
"The fact is, progress has been made but we still have a very long way to go. I think just because the gender wage gap issue is now front and center and receiving attention in the tech industry, it doesn't mean the requisite progress has been made to remedy the issue. We need to focus our efforts on long-term solutions that address the root issue."
Exposing the "Expectation Gap"
The problem is fueled not just by companies, but by the so-called "expectation" gap. Women, in male-dominated industries, tend to request lower salaries than their male counterparts.
Hired highlighted this point using some of its data, and the numbers are staggering. You can see that in highly male dominated industries like software engineering, women request lower salaries by a fairly substantial amount.
Said Patel, "It's a complicated, and two-sided problem. Our hope is that in sharing our data, companies investigate their compensation policies to ensure that they don't perpetuate patterns of inequality. In addition, we hope to arm women with information they need to ask for their market worth."
How do you fix the problem?
I spent some time with Patel on how companies should focus on fixing the problem and he had some clear thoughts:
"A data-based approach to compensation is key; it's the only way to truly fix this issue. It's the trend employers have to adopt if they want a work environment where everyone is paid fairly. More transparency, more training and a focus on more opportunity and diversity across all roles".
We are clearly a ways out from fixing what's a major problem in the tech industry, but Hired and others are working hard to remedy the issue.