I’m writing this on the international women’s day where some of the local news outlets are pointing to a persistent 3.5% pay gap between men and women in technology.
I have worked in technology for a long time, done a fair bit of union work and have an extensive network that includes both men and women in the industry. I thought I would share a couple of thoughts on the topic. Nothing conclusive as I do not have the data, just my observations and ideas.
Technology in Norway is one of those places where salary tends to be negotiated on an individual basis, in my experience. Again, I don’t have the data, but it is the clear impression I am left with. I expect this has to do with the amount of competition between companies as well as the number of startups in the industry.
What this means in practical terms is that you often get the money you ask for, provided that you can make good that you are worth them.
In my career I have never been denied a salary increase, but I usually had to ask for it. Sometimes I had to insist on a raise and point to a competing offer. Now, these increases come on top of any general increases that the union may have negotiated or the business have decided on.
I would like to suggest that if I had not actively asked for better pay throughout my career, I would have made a lot less.
I guess it is already clear where I’m going with this, but I do know both men and women who have always accepted whatever they have been given. It may also look like women are over-represented in this group.
Is it possible that women in technology are less likely to ask for more money than their male counterparts?
I don’t know if my experiences are representative for the industry in Norway, and much less the rest of the world. I do believe that this element have had a greater impact on my pay than education and seniority, though likely less than choice of specialisations and positions.
I would also like to think that all of the above have played a bigger part than my gender in deciding my salary.