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Boston has biggest tech wage gap between men and women, report finds

The State House dome stood out amidst the buildings on Beacon Hill were shrouded in fog. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff/Globe Staff/file

Women working in tech in the Boston area are generally getting the salaries they’re requesting — but they’re asking for significantly less money than their male counterparts.

A report by Hired, the San Francisco recruiting company focused on technology, found that Boston had the largest gender wage gap of five major tech markets, which also included San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle. Hired found that the base salaries of women tech workers in the Boston area were 9 percent lower than those of their male colleagues.

The report, an analysis of 420,000 interview requests and job offers on the Hired service, found that the industry as a whole underpaid women by about 3 percent. A key factor, the company said, was that women were asking for less money than men.


The gap between what women and men asked for in Boston was — you guessed it — exactly 9 percent.

“Women are being offered less because they are asking for less. Once we account for a candidate’s asking salary, the wage gap essentially disappears,” Nina Roussille, who is using Hired’s data in research at the University of California Berkeley, said in the report.

The report found that the gender wage gap for tech workers nationally has improved over the past year. Hire studies in 2017 and 2018 found the overall rate at which women were underpaid was 4 percent.

But the salary disparities for women of color were much higher. Black women earned just 89 cents for every dollar paid to white or Asian men, and Hispanic women made 91 cents.

Hired chief executive Mehul Patel said companies know what they’re paying people, so they should pay attention to any pay gaps that emerge at their firms and “pay the fair amount regardless of what an applicant is asking for or expecting.”


The company said the small but steady improvements in the gender pay gap may be linked to women gaining a better understanding of their value. Women asked for less than men did 69 percent of the time in a 2017 survey, 66 percent in 2018, and 61 percent this year.

Patel said he hopes more transparency around salaries will continue to help close the gaps.

“We want to make sure that all of our candidates know what they’re worth and they’re asking for the right amount,” he said.

One positive sign for Boston: Women were more commonly interviewed for tech jobs here than in the other markets studied. But they still lagged men by 15 percent.

Andy Rosen can be reached at andrew.rosen@globe.com.