Women Significantly Cutting IT Wage Gap

New nationwide salary survey highlights effects of recession but underscores gains by females.
Posted January 29, 2002

Roy Mark

According to a new salary survey by online certification company Brainbench, women appear to be rapidly closing the IT wage gap with males in many categories, with females in 2001 earning more than $150,000 outpacing that of males by almost double in companies with sales of more than $1 billion.

In what the Chantilly, Va.-based company calls "one of the largest studies of its kind ever conducted," Brainbench has identified critical data on IT salary levels and trends in a recessionary economy, women's progress in achieving compensation parity with men in traditionally male-dominated IT jobs, as well as new data on the value of IT certifications.

The new Brainbench 2001-2002 IT Salary Survey details the responses of more than 6,000 IT professionals from across the nation. Respondents were solicited in December 2001 from a randomly selected sample of 239,000 individuals from among Brainbench's three million registered users.

Selected findings from the report include:

  • IT salary increases appeared to be significantly affected by the current recession, with more than half, or 52 percent, of respondents receiving salary increases of less than 3 percent in 2001. In the year 2000, IT salary increases for the same group were significantly higher, with 62 percent of respondents receiving increases in excess of 3 percent
  • .

  • Respondents expect to make up lost ground in 2002, with salary increase expectations by the majority of respondents in the range of 3-8 percent range
  • .

  • Professional certifications proved to be bankable assets for IT professionals, with those holding certifications approximately 30% more likely to receive higher increases than those without certification
  • .

    "While employers have responded to the recession by dramatically reducing salary increases in 2001, we are encouraged by the very positive news that women's compensation levels in the IT field are rapidly advancing," said Mike Russiello, president and chief executive officer of Brainbench. "Most importantly, as the pioneer in online IT skills testing, we're pleased that employers are showing through the one yardstick that really counts - salary increases -- that they place the same value on certifications obtained online, as those obtained through traditional, and more expensive, proctored methods."

    Brainbench provides over 350 professional online certification exams and employment assessments in information technology, finance, sales, administration, healthcare and other categories. Since 1999 Brainbench has administered more than 4.7 million tests and maintains the largest ISO 9001 certified library of exams in the world today. Corporate customers include Autodesk, IBM, EDS, Qwest, Element K, PeopleSoft, Cable & Wireless, Manpower Professional, and Booz Allen & Hamilton.

    Major investors include Manpower, Thomson Learning, Terra Lycos and Primus Venture Partners.

    This column was first published on dc.internet.com, an internet.com site.

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