Is project management the key to decreasing the gender pay gap?

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 By Jack Nevison

The 2010 census is but one of many statistical surveys that found that the median woman, working full-time, year-round, only earned 77 percent of what her male counterpart took home. This is known as the gender pay gap, and many studies have been dedicated to finding out why it exists.

Recently, PayScale's report, "Women at Work: PayScale Redefines the Gender Wage Gap," found that the gap in earnings is much smaller in the field of technology. A similar problem still exists, however, that has many analysts concerned.

"It's not a wage gap that's the problem," Katie Bardaro, lead economist at PayScale, told CIO. "It's a jobs gap."

The CIO article cites a Dice.com survey for 2012-2013, which found that the average man out-earned the average woman by $95,929 to $87,527. This was primarily because members of both genders tended to hold different jobs. Women in technology fields gravitated toward business analyst positions, while men tended to be software engineers and systems administrators.

It is unclear if this difference is caused by personal preference or by systemic bias. However, the report concluded that, while problems remain, the technology field is a promising one.

"Technology is a terrific career sector to be in, whether you're a man or a woman," Dice.com CEO Scot Melland said. "The average household income in the United States is around $50,000. In technology the average pay is between $87,000-89,000. And there are so many opportunities for other types of compensation: stock options, yearly bonuses, flexible work schedules, remote work opportunities."

One fact that the survey uncovered was that it is common for both men and women to work as project managers. This is good news for everyone, but especially for women confronting the gender pay gap. As this blog has discussed previously, project manager positions offer excellent opportunities for advancement and higher pay.

This is especially true for project managers who achieve further professional certification, such as the Project Management Professional (PMP®). New Leaf's "PMP Prep" program will help you pass the PMP Exam on your first try. Once you become a PMP, our QPM™ series of online games lets you hone your estimating skills while earning affordable and convenient PDUs to keep your certification. These games can be conveniently accessed on the go with an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

"PMI," PMP," and "PMBOK" are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.

"QPM" is a registered mark of New Leaf Project Management. All rights reserved.

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