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Survey reveals gender bias in the technology sector

Most women in the technology sector are paid less than men who perform the same jobs, according to a study released on March 28 by the California-based recruitment firm Hired. After polling 2,600 technology sector workers, the company found that the average gender pay gap in the industry is 3 percent. However, the figure rises to between 6 percent and 9 percent in major technology hubs like San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and Boston.

Six out of 10 of the women surveyed by the recruitment firm Hired said that they were paid lower salaries than male colleagues who performed the same tasks, and 65 percent said that they were still exposed to discrimination in the workplace. When asked how much less they were being paid, 16 percent of the women polled said that the salary difference was $20,000 or more. The most common kind of discrimination cited by the female respondents was not being taken seriously by male supervisors and coworkers.

The figures are even higher among minorities. According to the study, the gender wage gap among LGBTQ women in the technology sector is 8 percent. African-American and Hispanic women in the industry earn about 9 percent less than white men for the same work. The researchers feel that these figures will fall in the years ahead as the issue attracts more attention and women adopt more aggressive negotiating styles.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 prohibits employers from paying workers less based on their gender, and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Acts extends gender protections to other areas of employment. When pursuing legal claims on behalf of workers who have faced discrimination or were paid unfairly, attorneys with employment law experience could point out to employers the severe sanctions they could face for violating the provisions of landmark federal laws. Attorneys could also remind employers of the media attention these cases often draw and the damage that this coverage can do to corporate reputations.

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