IT salaries edge up but gender gap widens

Salaries for IT pros only edged up in 2007 from 2006, and the gender gap widened to the point where women in IT are now making 12 per cent less on average than male counterparts, according to the annual technology salary report released Tuesday.

IT professionals on average earned just 1.7 per cent more in 2007 than in 2006, with full-timers averaging about US$72,000. Salaries rose 5.2 per cent in 2006 from 2005. (Read Network World’s own 2007 salary survey here.)

By comparison wage increases for IT professionals in Canada for the same period were significantly higher.

The average base salary in 2007 for Canadian IT professionals was $80,329 – up from $77,529 in 2006, according to IT World Canada’s 2007 IT Job Market and Salary Survey.

70 per cent of IT professionals polled got salary increases and the average increase was 6 per cent.
The average total ’07 compensation for Canadian IT employees was $87,462 – and fifty per cent of the respondents to the Canadian survey said expected to receive a bonus in 2007

In the U.S., 2007 increases in specific job categories fared better, particularly for those in management positions. MIS managers saw a 7.8 per cent increase in salary, bringing their average pay to about $89,000 in 2007.

Project managers experienced an increase of about 5per cent — which landed workers in those positions in the $100,000 and above club. Contractors experienced gains of 3.7per cent, which resulted in about $93,000 in salary.

Overall, more than half of the 19,000 tech professionals surveyed said they were satisfied with their salaries in a market that boasted just a 2.1 per cent unemployment rate.

“Technology workers remain among the highest paid employees, especially those with management experience and hard-to-find skills,” says Scot Melland, CEO of Dice Holdings, the parent company of, a career site for technology and engineering professionals.

But the survey did reveal that gender continues to play a role in salary levels. Women in high-tech positions took home about 2.4 per cent less than their male counterparts last year.

Women in 2007 made about $67,500, while men earned more than $76,500. reports that the gender gap is most severe for women IT pros with more experience.

“Lower skilled positions such as technical support and systems administrators had a smaller gender gap.

Women with 1 to 5 years of experience saw the smallest gender gap (approximately 2.3per cent) while women with more than 15 years of experience had the largest gap (11.3 per cent); hence, women age 40-49 also saw the largest gender gap (16.4per cent),” the report reads.

On a positive note, reports the gender gap in pay is smaller among female consultants at about 8.9per cent.

And project management positions, which now pay six figures on average, pay women more equitably when compared to men.

“There is some good news for female IT professionals — project managers now make $100,436, which marks the first time that females in this position have averaged more than $100,000.

This position also compares relatively favorably to male counterparts, who earn $101,569,” reports.

Geographic location, not surprisingly, also plays a big role in salary levels, according to the survey. For instance, locations in Silicon Valley, Boston and Baltimore/Washington, D.C. saw higher salary increases in 2007 than others.

Technology professionals in Silicon Valley earn the highest salaries, according to’s survey, bringing in $93,876 on average — which represents a 3.95 per cent increase over pay in 2006.

Boston ranks as the second highest pay area, with IT pros making about $83,465 in 2007, a 3.93per cent increase over the previous year. Baltimore/D.C.-area high tech workers made $81,750 on average, followed by Los Angeles professionals who earned just more than $81,000, and New York rounded out the top five locations with IT pros taking home about $80,770 on average in 2007.

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