As UK companies turn gender pay data to headline news in the run up to the April 4th reporting deadline, the high level message stresses just how far there is to go towards salary equality: 76% of UK organisations report men's median pay to be higher than female counterparts.1
Globally, the picture is no brighter, with women paid an average $12,000, compared with $21,000 for men, in 20172.
Within the technology space, the pay gap is stark. An analysis of 2017 data3 reveals one in ten job opportunities offered men 20% more than women. Some companies offered women up to 50% less than male applicants for the same role. Surely this connects with the fact that women are twice as likely to leave the tech industry; companies in this growing space are struggling to find skilled employees, while failing to retain and develop them.
We all value fair treatment, yet this fundamental inequality in employment seems out of control. How can it be fixed?
It goes without saying that gender, sexuality, ethnicity etc. are irrelevant to staff’s ability to excel in the workplace. Managers must instead have a clear focus on the value that an employee adds to their team, department and organisation, within the requirements of their role and beyond. To this end, the fundamental purpose of BlueOptima is to allow companies to understand precisely the intellectual effort and quality of code that software developers deliver. This affords a fair comparison of programmers working in any language — or location. We acknowledge that there is more value to a software developer’s role than coding (e.g. working well in a team, supporting colleagues, communication, managing workloads, etc) and we advise using BlueOptima’s unique insight as a startpoint for better understanding each coder's broader role within a team. Customers tell us BlueOptima has revealed diversity of talents within teams, leading to managers valuing and nurturing specialisations beyond coding.
While BlueOptima is concerned with software development, objectively evaluating performance of employees more widely will serve to address their gender pay gap. Constructing objective metrics for a particular job may seem impossible, but this is the conclusion we find many software development managers have reached with regard to assessing coder productivity when they tell us our solution is “the Holy Grail”. Indeed, previous attempts to measure software developer productivity are flawed — as explained here.
Fair treatment is right by employees, optimising morale and talent retention, but career guidance based on the quantitative data BlueOptima reveals supports coders’ career development to the benefit of both an organisation and its staff.
When it comes to recruiting, we also provide a level playing field for evaluating software developers. BlueOptima Predictive Assessment provides a prediction of candidate performance in the same productivity and quality terms as our core technology. This approach offers consistency between tests designed for different roles as well as between candidates. For more on this, please click here.
For further information about BlueOptima’s productivity metrics in software development, please click here. For our approach to evaluating source code quality, please click here.
1. Gender pay gap: what we learned in week three, The Guardian, 14 March 2018
2. Global Gender Gap Report 2017, World Economic Forum, via "What the pay gap between men and women really looks like".
3. 2017: Women, Work, and the State of Wage Inequality, Hired