Facebook and Microsoft may offer equal pay, but women in tech still earn less

equal pay day 2016 tech world sheryl sandberg
Financial Times/Drew Altizer/Flickr
It’s Equal Pay Day, and Facebook and Microsoft have come out and said they offer equal pay for their employees regardless of gender — but what about the rest of Silicon Valley? New data from a job recruiting startup doesn’t paint a promising picture for women in tech.

Equal Pay Day began 20 years ago by the National Committee on Pay Equity, and while there has been acknowledgment and improvement of the gender disparity in Silicon Valley, the tech industry still has a long way to go.

Women in tech make 3 percent less than men

Job recruiting startup Hired released new data on its findings of equal pay in Silicon Valley, and found that companies on average offer women 3 percent less than men for the same roles — some offering as much as 30 percent less. These jobs aren’t only in tech-related fields, but also in sales and marketing.

“Sixty-nine percent of the time, men receive higher salary offers than women for the same job title at the same company,” according to the data.

“I’m proud to share that at Facebook, men and women earn the same.”

Of course, larger companies are under greater scrutiny, and many of the big-names in tech do offer equal pay. Facebook and Microsoft disclosed information surrounding equal pay after facing pressure from an investment firm, Arjuna Capital. The firm filed a shareholder proposal in 2014 asking for nine companies, including Facebook and Microsoft, to release salary data, according to the Wall Street Journal. So far, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Intel have disclosed pay data to the firm, and Expedia says it will in October.

“We regularly review our compensation practices to ensure pay equity, and have done so for many years,” Facebook’s Head of Human Resources, Lori Goler, said in a Facebook post. “We complete thorough statistical analyses to compare the compensation of men and women performing similar work. I’m proud to share that at Facebook, men and women earn the same.”

Google told Digital Trends that its People Analytics team analyzes performance, compensation and promotion to ensure that there is no gender pay gap at Google.

“Since we set salaries based on the market rate of the job (rather than a person’s pre-Google salary), we find that, on average, women get larger pay increases than men when they join Google,” a spokesperson said.

While Facebook, along with Google’s parent company, Alphabet, say they offer equal pay, both companies have not disclosed salary data to the firm yet, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Women in the U.S. at Microsoft now earn 99.8 cents on the $1 earned by men at the same job title and level. And Microsoft went further and disclosed how much other ethnic minorities make compared to their Caucasian counterparts.

“Racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S. combined earn $1.004 for every $1 earned by their Caucasian counterparts,” Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Human Resources, Kathleen Hogan, said. “Breaking it down even further, African American/black employees are at $1.003; Hispanic/Latino(a) employees are at 99.9 cents; and Asian employees are at $1.006 for every $1 earned by Caucasian employees at the same job title and level, respectively.”

It’s still mostly an all-boys club

But offering equal pay is the easy part — what about the number of women who are actually working at these tech companies?

The Menlo Park company provided an employee breakdown last May, which shows that only 16 percent of Facebook’s global tech workforce comprises of women with tech-related careers. Microsoft’s also only has a small group of women in its tech workforce — 16.9 percent, as opposed to the other 83 percent that are men.

Based on its 2015 data, only 18 percent of Google’s tech jobs are held by females. And Apple is hardly any better — the Cupertino company’s tech workforce is 22 percent female, according to its 2015 data.

“One of the big reasons why today we have this issue is that there aren’t a lot of women in the field today.”

One thing’s for sure — these industry leaders have realized the gender disparity in their workforce and have spoken out about it.

“We believe in equality for everyone, regardless of race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a diversity report. “That applies throughout our company, around the world with no exceptions.”

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly mentioned the importance of a more diverse workplace, but also how more women will help teams perform better, according to CNN.

“It’s this problem because it’s not even clear where you would start attacking it,” Zuckerberg said in a 2014 Q&A. “You need to start earlier in the funnel so that girls don’t self-select out of doing computer science education, but at the same time, one of the big reasons why today we have this issue is that there aren’t a lot of women in the field today.”

That was in 2014 — and Facebook’s most recent data from less than a year ago only improved by 1 percent.

While Google’s disclosure of diversity in its workplace in 2014 may have inspired a wave of companies like Apple and Facebook to follow suit, it’s equally important for these industry leaders to follow through with actions.

Last year, companies like Google and Intel announced new initiatives to help create a more gender-balanced workplace. Google pledged $150 million and Intel created a $300 million fund for the next five years.

We’ll have to see how these initiatives play out, but hopefully a higher awareness will have more companies hiring more women and other minorities in tech-related fields, while offering the equal pay for equal work.


Google to expand New York City presence with $1 billion campus

Google is following in Amazon's footsteps with plans to expand its presence in New York City. The company announced on Monday, December 17 that it's investing $1 billion on three sites in Lower Manhattan for more than 7,000 workers.

How to switch from iPhone to Android: The ultimate guide

If you've decided to bridge the great tech divide and leave Apple's walled garden for the unknown shores of Android, then you'll find all the tips and advice you need to begin switching from an iPhone to an Android device.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.

REI clearance sale extends discounts on Garmin, Fitbit, and GoPro devices

Beyond the things you typically expect to find at REI — like tents, skis, and jackets — there are tons of great deals on quality tech foryour outdoor adventures. From smartwatches to action cameras, here are the best tech deals.

AT&T makes 5G a reality for a dozen U.S. cities, with more to come in 2019

Ready to experience a radical transformation in mobile communication? AT&T is launching mobile 5G in cities across the country over the next few months. Here's everything you need to know about the AT&T 5G rollout.

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.

Which smartphone manufacturers won and lost in 2018

As the curtain comes down on 2018, we take a look at the big successes and failures in the smartphone market over the last 12 months. Which phone maker had the best year, and who had a year to forget?
Product Review

With sapphire glass and analog dials, you'd never know this watch is smart

The world of hybrid smartwatches is getting much larger, and the latest comes from a name with history — New York Standard Watches. In our NYSW GTS Activity Tracker review, we find out what makes this watch special, and why we were so…

Scientists have charged a phone and a Fitbit with solar-powered clothes

Scientists from Britain's Nottingham Trent University have discovered a way to incorporate solar panels into clothing, and they've even managed to charge a phone and Fitbit with the energy created.

The Lenovo Z5 Pro GT packs the most RAM ever seen in a smartphone

The next generation of smartphones has begun, and it's begun with a bang. The Lenovo Z5 Pro GT comes with the next generation Snapdragon 855 processor, 12GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage.

The best iPhone XS Max screen protectors to safeguard that huge display

If you love big screens, then the iPhone XS Max's huge 6.5-inch display is perfect for you. But it won't fare well against concrete. Protect your display with the best iPhone XS Max screen protectors.

Fitbit supercharges its smartwatches with its new 3.0 operating system

Fitbit announced a new software update for the Versa and Ionic, called Fitbit OS 3.0. The new OS will allow for things like on-device daily views, as well as 10 new third-party apps on the watch.

Google’s Gboard communication app reaches 500 languages in only 2 years

In December 2016, Google launched Gboard with support for an already-impressive 100 languages. Since then, however, Google has added a hefty 400 languages to the software keyboard, bringing the total number to 500.

Sending SMS messages from your PC is easier than you might think

Texting is a fact of life, but what to do when you're in the middle of something on your laptop or just don't have your phone handy? Here's how to send a text message from a computer, whether you prefer to use an email client or Windows 10.