Tech companies may employ a smaller percentage of women than other US industries, but at least they pay them as well as men. Microsoft and Facebook marked "Equal Pay Day" (today) by confirming they had hit that milestone. "I'm proud to share that at Facebook, men and women earn the same," says Facebook VP Lori Matloff Goler. Microsoft VP Kathleen Hogan also declares that, "today, for every $1 earned by men, our female employees in the U.S. earn 99.8 cents at the same job title and level."
According to Engadget's 2015 diversity report card, Microsoft scored a "C" with just 29 percent of women in its workforce, including a dismal 17.3 percent in leadership roles. However, yesterday it agreed to disclose how much women and US minorities are paid compared to men and has committed to gender pay equity, according to activist shareholder Arjuna Capital.
CEO Satya Nadella famously said that women should rely on "karma" instead of asking for pay raises, but later apologized for the comment. Since that low point, the company has made a stronger effort to boost diversity, and its senior leadership team is at an all-time high with 27.2 percent women. The company has also attempted to boost women in tech positions through its DigitGirlz code initiative and more diversity-centric event.
Facebook also got low marks in our diversity report compared to Google, Apple and Twitter. Though it employs more women total than other tech companies at 31 percent, they represent just 23 percent of its management team. To change that, the company expanded its Facebook University internship program to include more underrepresented group, and launched TechPrep to promote computer science in schools, among other initiatives.
Most of the big tech companies have committed to closing the gender pay gap, thanks in large part to prodding from Arjuna Capital's director of equity Natasha Lamb. At this point, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Intel say that they now pay men and women equally. However, all those companies are still well behind other industries on overall employment diversity for female and minority workers, especially in the executive suite. If they follow Twitter's lead in the boardroom, however, the news might be better next year.