- The pay gap for black technology workers widened while Asian technology workers out-earned their white counterparts, according to a report by tech recruiting site Hired based on recent pay data. Per the report, the average annual salary for black tech workers was $124,000, compared to $128,000 for Hispanic employees, $135,000 for white workers and $137,000 for Asian employees. The discrepancy between pay for black and white tech workers was $5,000 more in 2019 than the prior year.
- The average tech worker salary started to level off at age 40 around $150,000. Six-figure salaries didn't guarantee tech workers would achieve other milestones, like home ownership: 65% of global tech workers were renters rather than homeowners, a fact in part attributed to the high cost of living in tech hub areas. Nearly a quarter of global tech renters said they could afford to buy, but chose to rent.
- Workers disagreed on the value of advanced college degrees. When asked whether they thought their master's or doctorate degrees impacted their career, 31% of respondents said they would have the exact same job without their degree, while 25% said they wouldn't have their current job without it and 23% said their degree led to higher earnings. A separate question showed 45% of respondents thought on-the-job experience was more valuable than additional schooling. As part of its analysis, Hired collected survey responses from more than 1,800 tech workers on its platform.
Pay gaps continue to persist across several parameters, including race. Research from PayScale showed wages tend to peak earlier and at lower levels for women and people of color across job categories, and a separate 2018 report showed the wage gap is particularly problematic for black women. Employers like Citigroup have taken the step of voluntarily disclosing pay gaps in a bid for transparency, but HR professionals may need to take a broad review of organizational policies to spot discriminatory pay practices. Talking with managers about their pay decisions may also help to flag and correct discrepancies.
Hired's report noted the shift towards accepting in-demand skills and experience in place of college degrees, a growing trend among employers struggling to source talent in a tight labor market. Hired pointed to PayPal, Google and Apple as examples of employers that now put less emphasis on education as a job requirement and opting instead for job experience.
Age discrimination could also be something to watch given that wages for tech workers appear to level out around 40, according to the Hired report. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which prohibits discrimination in employment against persons age 40 or over. Enforcement of the ADEA has proven difficult, due in part to the difficulty of proving ageism in court, experts previously told HR Dive.