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Gay tech workers earn less than their straight counterparts

JP Mangalindan
Chief Tech Correspondent
LGBTQ tech workers earn thousands of dollars less annually versus their heterosexual counterparts.

LGBTQ workers in tech earn significantly less than their heterosexual counterparts, a new study reports.

According to a study out this week from the San Francisco-based tech recruiting firm Hired, heterosexual men outearn all others, followed by LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) men, non- LGBTQ women, and finally, LGBTQ women, respectively. 

The pay gap isn’t huge, but it is significant. Heterosexual men in tech, for example, earn an average salary of $120,412, while LGBTQ men typically earn nearly $3,000 less. Women, unfortunately, earn even less than that, with non-LGBTQ women making $7,879 less and LGBTQ women earning $10,901 less than heterosexual men in tech.

Source: Hired

Hired based its findings on data drawn from a mix of 120,000 job offers from 8,000 participating companies in the past 12 months, as well as an optional, self-reported demographics survey offered to Hired’s 1 million-plus job seekers. (The tech recruiting firm declined to specify exactly how many job seekers identified as LGBTQ.)

“Just like race and gender, biases against individuals who identify as LGBTQ still exist in the workplace today,” explained Jessica Kirkpatrick, a data scientist at Hired and author of Hired’s 2017 wage inequality report. “When you combine LGBTQ bias, gender bias and any other bias, there is a compounding effect. That’s why women who identify as LGBTQ are ultimately paid less than other cohorts. We see that salary expectations follow the same trend, which is likely a result of candidates basing their salary requests off of what they are currently being paid, rather than what the market value is for their years of experience and skillset. This approach just perpetuates the wage gap.”

While it’s unfortunately no surprise that women in tech earn less than their male counterparts, Hired’s findings on LGBTQ workers shed light on a salary area that’s rarely covered in the media: wage pay gap based around sexual orientation.

To be sure, Silicon Valley has made significant strides when it comes to high-profile members of LGBTQ community. Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook famously came out in late 2014. The sexual orientation of billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel, who is also a member of President Donald Trump’s transition team, has long since been known among tech circles, with Thiel calling himself “proud to be gay” at last year’s Republican National Convention. Meanwhile, heavyweight tech journalist Kara Swisher, executive editor of the tech site Recode, has proudly identified as a member of the LGBTQ community for a long time, as well.

Still, if Hired’s survey results prove anything, there’s much more work to be done when it comes to salary equality.


JP Mangalindan is a senior correspondent for Yahoo Finance covering the intersection of tech and business. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook.  

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