Australia's high tech companies have one of the worst gender pay gaps in the world

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  • Australia doesn’t rate on a global scale when it comes to paying women to same as men in tech companies.
  • On average, women are paid 20% less than the average pay, about seven percentage points worse than the national average gender pay gap.
  • Australia at 28% has one of the world’s highest percentages of women working in tech companies.

Australia has one of the world’s worst gender pay gaps in high-tech companies despite having more women working in the sector than most countries, according to a global study.

The pay gap is calculated at 20% with the average pay for women at $US51,068 ($A66,300) compared to the overall local industry average of $US63,834 ($A83,000).

The gender pay gap is about seven percentage points higher in tech than the general pay gap of around 13% in Australia.

Australia doesn’t even make it into the top 20 countries offering the best opportunity for women in tech, says the 2018 Women in Tech Index by technology career platform Honeypot.

It ranks 30th in the world, just behind Denmark and ahead of Malta.

Here are the numbers for Australia:

Source: Honeypot

The numbers are close to official calculations by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency which shows an 19.1% pay gap in the Information Media and Telecommunications sector as of November 2017.

According to those numbers, the gender pay gap is highest in Financial and Insurance Services industry at 26.1% and lowest in Public Administration and Safety and Other Services at 6.8%.

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The Honeypot study focuses on 41 countries in the OECD and EU, and offers comparable data relating to both the tech industry and the wage gap.

The US offers the highest wages to women working in tech at $US86,608 a year, followed by Ireland ($US60,558) and Switzerland ($US59,029).

At 30%, Bulgaria has the highest percentage of women working in tech, followed by Australia at 28% and Romania at 26%.

Portugal, the US and Latvia offer the best opportunities for women in tech, with an industry gender pay gap 6% to 7% less than the overall average wage gap.

“That this index shows the gender pay gap actually increased in 17 countries over five years may come as a surprise to many,” says Emma Tracey, Co-Founder at Honeypot.

“It is encouraging however, that some countries such as Finland, Sweden and the UK are making positive strides towards parity both in the tech industry and in general, and their example ought to act as a catalyst for the remaining OECD and EU nations to address their wage disparities.”

She says one of the most surprising outcomes of this study was that Israel, the so-called Start-Up Nation with its Silicon Wadi, has only 26,000 women working in tech, accounting for only 11% of its IT industry—one of the lowest in the index.

“With a technology gender wage gap of over 27%, it could be surmised that Israeli women are discouraged from joining the tech workforce when there is better pay to be found elsewhere,” she says.

“We hope that by bringing attention to this disparity, this study can act as a catalyst for change to help the some 24% of female STEM graduates in Israel battling against this inequality.”

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