Facebook and Apple recently declared that there’s no wage gap between men and women at their respective companies. That’s cool, I guess, but that type of men-versus-women analysis is far too simplistic. There’s still a major wage gap that affects transgender and gender non-conforming people in the tech industry.
Between December 2015 and February 2016, Trans*H4CK, the nonprofit organization that aims to serve and support the trans and gender non-conforming communities in tech, surveyed over 600 people in tech who identify as trans, genderqueer, non-binary and/or intersex. More than half of those surveyed reported making less than $76,000, and 22 percent reported making less than $20,000, USA Today reported earlier today. But the average salary in tech is $96,370, according to tech career website Dice.com’s most recent survey of salaries. So, in comparison to the tech industry as a whole, there’s a big discrepancy in wages paid to trans and gender non-conforming people.
Trans* H4CK launched the survey late last year because, up until now, there were no hard numbers about trans people in tech, Trans* H4CK founder Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler told me last November. The numbers are disappointing but, unfortunately, not surprising. In the most recent National Transgender Discrimination survey, 90 percent of trans and gender non-conforming people reported experiencing harassment, mistreatment or discrimination, and 47 percent said they had either been fired, not hired or denied a promotion because of their gender identity.
The tech industry’s gender gap is close to the U.S. average (5.4 percent), and falls in the middle among industries, according to a 2016 Glassdoor study. That said, the tech occupations with significant gaps include computer programmers (28.3 percent), computer-aided designer (21.5 percent) and video game artist (15.8 percent). Unfortunately, the Glassdoor data doesn’t take into account the presence of trans and gender non-conforming people.
Meanwhile, there’s also a racial wage gap, which has received far less attention than gender-related wage gaps. Though Intel recently said it hopes to close the racial pay gap by the end of this year.
I’ve reached out to Ziegler and will update this story when I hear back.