Silicon Valley job growth exposes increasing gender wage gap

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Post-recession job growth has created what's described as a red-hot economy, primarily because of high tech jobs. But it has also left Silicon Valley with a black eye. The issue is the growing pay gap between women and men.

Men earning up to 61 percent more than women. And the gap is growing, even though this is hardly the first time Silicon Valley has been singled out.

There has been such an emphasis placed on getting more young women to get into science, technology, engineering and math - commonly abbreviated as STEM - but they're bound to wonder if they will get equal pay to men.

In Silicon Valley, the gender pay gap is widening.

The latest numbers show men with a Bachelor's degree have a median income of $90,000, while women earn $56,000.

With a graduate degree, the median income for men is $125,000 versus $83,000 for women.

That's a bigger gap than in San Francisco or anywhere else in the country, according to research by Joint Venture Silicon Valley for its 2015 Silicon Valley Index.

Will that gap send the wrong message as more young women aspire are encouraged to pursue STEM careers?

"I wonder. Although if they're going to pick up the report, they're also going to see the jobs are happening in social media, in internet, in biotechnology, in nanotechnology and physics. I mean that's where the high-skill, high-wage jobs are," said Russell Hancock with Joint Venture Silicon Valley.

In the past year, Silicon Valley created 58,000 new jobs, mostly in technology. With today's high school students still five or more years away from entering the work force, there's time to close the pay gap.

An analyst at Glassdoor, which collects data about companies, their jobs and pay, says both men and women are talking about the gap and hoping their employers will do something about it.

"It's not women who are particularly upset about this, however, it's people who are starting to talk about this and recognizing that it is a problem," explained Scott Dobroski with Glassdoor.

Rachel Massarols with Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies says, "If more women get into those kinds of traditionally male dominated careers, I think it will change the income gap here in Silicon Valley."
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