Working Moms Equal Pay Day (another) wake-up call

Though the pay gap in IT is small, it's still very real in every other area where women work -- and it's even worse for working mothers.

Working Moms Equal Pay Day
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Women's Equal Pay Day was April 12, 2016. Equal Pay Day represents the approximate day in the current year to which women must work to equal what men earned in the previous year. But the situation's worse for working moms. Monday May 16, 2016 was working moms' Equal Pay Day -- the day in 2016 when working moms caught up to what men earned in 2015.

Pay equality is a huge issue, even though in the IT industry, the pay gap is so small as to be almost non-existent. But in my opinion, all the pay equity in the world doesn't mean a thing if women aren't able to compete for the lucrative IT opportunities available in the first place because of unconscious bias, discrimination, harassment or leaving a STEM career because of an inhospitable work environment.

Just last week, the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council released findings from a report showing just how underrepresented women are in the IT industry, even in The Bay State -- which has one of the hottest IT job markets in the country. According to Census Bureau Data, the number of women employed in the Massachusetts tech industry had only increased by 364 workers between 2007 and 2014 -- out of the approximately 17,000 technology jobs available during that time period. Things look slightly better when using the "rolling average" method the MassTLC report used, which showed that 4,000 more women worked in technology in 2014 than in 2007.

The numbers are sobering. It's hard to negotiate for better pay -- not to mention equal pay -- when you can't even get a seat at the table.

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