IT Management professor Sandra Slaughter finds that women in IT are only able to obtain a substantial pay increase by leaving for another professon.
Receiving lower pay than their male counterparts has motivated many women to leave the information technology profession in the last 20 years, according to a new study by a Georgia Tech College of Management researcher.
"Women are unable to narrow the relative wage gap by turning over to another IT job," says Sandra Slaughter, professor of IT Management and Costley Chair holder. "It’s only when females turn away from the IT profession that they are able to obtain a substantial increase in their pay."
Slaughter conducted the study, "Relative Wage Differences and Career Transitions of Female and Male IT Professionals," in collaboration with Damien Joseph and Soon Ang of Nanyang Business School in Singapore.
Best Paper Prize
Their study won the 2008 Best Paper Award from the Organizational Communication and Systems Division of the Academy of Management. "This is the first empirical study within the IT discipline to examine the role of gender-based wage discrimination in career transitions," Slaughter says.
From 1996 to 2007, the number of women in IT dropped from 41 to 26 percent.
Analyzing data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth from 1979 to 2004, the researchers found that male IT professionals have more success than women at boosting their pay by moving from IT job to IT job at various employers.
Men using this strategy increased their average hourly pay by 10.3 percent while women's grew only 4.82 percent. However, by leaving the IT profession altogether, women increased their hourly pay by 11.36 percent.
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