Blog post

Gender disparity in tech: It’s not what you think

The tech world looks very different in 2021 than it did a mere decade ago. With so many tech companies in a hiring frenzy, there have been significant changes in recruitment and hiring. The stereotype of young guys in hoodies on their laptops is outdated— today women can be found in prominent tech roles from DevOps to C-suite management. But do the stories of successful women in tech that make the headlines reflect what’s actually happening in the field? How can HR managers get an accurate, real-time picture of how they’re performing in gender diversity in comparison to similar tech companies? Are women really taking their place at the table in tech in every role and in all companies? And if they’re playing a significant role, are they being fairly compensated for their contribution?

Random anecdotes aren’t enough to answer those questions—you need hard data to find out what’s really going on, both at the macro level across the entire industry, and in specific roles and levels of expertise. We dove deep and looked at the real-time data we collected from hundreds of the leading tech companies to come up with more nuanced insights about gender representation and compensation in tech. 

Here’s what we discovered…

Insight 1: Men DO outnumber women in tech…but not in every role. 

Gender representation in tech isn’t uniform—it varies widely from role to role, and in levels of experience. There are certain roles in tech where experienced women significantly outnumber men with similar levels of experience. For example, when looking at workers with several years’ experience, there are 5.7 women for every man in a bookkeeping role, 4.5 women for every man in content writing, and 2.5 women leading UX/UI teams for every man in a similar role. 

The field isn’t static,” says Amit Rapaport, CEO, and Co-Founder of Compete. “Companies today want to attract the best talent, and they don’t care if you’re a man or a woman, from a majority group or a minority ethnicity. There have been major gains, but there’s still a lot of work to be done because there are still areas that are dominated by men. But with detailed, granular data, HR can make better decisions about hiring strategies. It’s never been possible before to break it down this way.”

Of course, the situation is far from perfect. There are still significantly more men than women in the highest paying, core tech roles like algorithm developers, DevOps engineers and security analysts. In fact, there are six males for every female algorithm developer at the entry-level, and 6.3 males for every female full-stack developer with 9+ years experience.  That definitely leaves a lot of room for improvement in most companies. 

Insight 2: Men earn more for doing the same job…except when they don’t. 

Common wisdom and loads of macro data tell us that women often earn less than men for doing the same job. But like with gender representation, the big picture only tells part of the story and HR leaders need more granular data to set benchmarks and navigate the competitive job market. For example, the wage gap varies widely between roles and levels of experience. Contrary to expectations, in some roles, experienced women significantly out-earn their similarly experienced male counterparts. This trend is visible both in roles in which women are more heavily represented, like content writing and bookkeeping, and in roles in which they are underrepresented, such as algorithm development and data analytics. A female data analyst with 2-4 years of experience can expect to earn 5.7% more than her male counterpart, and female product managers with less than a year of experience earn a whopping 8.8% more than similarly experienced male product managers. 

Insight 3: It’s not only experienced women who have an advantage. 

The stats for experienced women can create the impression that women have to work harder and invest more time in their field before they start to reap the benefits of their profession. While that can be true, our data shows that women are also heavily represented in certain roles even when they don’t bring a lot of experience to the table.  There are more women than men starting off as project managers and more women than men who have mid-level experience working as customer success managers. 

Women with less extensive experience also out-earn their male counterparts in certain roles. 

For example, women in starting roles in customer success earn an average of 11.2% more than their male counterparts and 8.8% more in starting roles as product managers. 

Women with mid-level experience can also earn more than men. For example, our data shows that female controllers with 2-4 years experience earn 7.1% more than men, and data analysts with 2-4 years experience earn 5.7% more than men. 

“The macro story is very different from what you learn when you drill down,” concludes Rapaport. “The macro data gives you the overview, but as a CEO, CFO, or HR leader, you need more than that. You’ve got to get rid of the guesswork and understand exactly where you’re doing a great job, and where you need to improve. The only way to know that is with real-time, specific data. You need to know where you stand in order to be competitive for top talent.”

(The survey and data cover Israeli companies only)

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