White House: Women Still Underrepresented in IT

Women continue to be underreppresented in information technology jobs, particularly at the high end of the pay scale, according to a report released today from the president's Council of Economic Advisers.

According to the report, only 29% of IT jobs are held by women, though in the general job market, women comprise 47% of the workforce. And "women are most underrepresented in the IT occupations, where pay is the highest," according to the report. "While 18% of men employed in IT earn $70,000 or more, only 8% of women earn this much."

Though the report is critical of the disparity in IT jobs, there was also some good news: Technology jobs in general pay women well above the the median income for non-IT jobs.

Women in full-time IT positions earn a median income of more than $38,000. That is 60% higher than the median income for women working outside IT, which is $23,900, the report said.

Moreover, women with higher levels of education have a narrower pay gap with their male counterparts compared to women without a college degree.

A bachelor's degree means women in IT make 9% to 11% less than men in similar positions, on average, according to the report. Without a four-year college degree, women make 15% to 21% less.

IT jobs in five core areas have increased for both men and women by 81% since 1983.

President Clinton also announced today a new initiative to level the gender wage gap in IT, science and engineering jobs through a $20 million budget request to fund post-secondary education institutions and other partner organizations.

Of that, $17 million would go to the U.S. Labor Department to train women for "nontraditional jobs," including IT.

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