Gay Men in Tech Are Earning Less Than Straight Men

Gay Men in Tech Are Earning Less Than Straight Men

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A new study found that LGBTQ workers in the technology industry earn significantly less than heterosexual workers.

Hired, a San Francisco-based employment agency ran a study on income inequality in the tech sector. The study looked at wage gaps based on gender, race and LGBTQ status. The study also examined how job candidates’ preferred salary (i.e. salary expectations) compared to the salaries they were offered by companies.

The study found that — surprise! — heterosexual white men out-earn everybody else in the tech sector.

The LGBTQ Pay Gap in the Tech Industry

Researchers looked at the preferred salaries and offered salaries of LGBTQ workers and their straight counterparts. What they found is that heterosexual men out-earned LGBTQ men (though queer men still out-earn straight women). And straight women receive higher salary offers than LGBTQ women, though they both have similar salary expectations.

The difference between straight men and queer men isn’t enormous — it’s about $3,000 — but it’s there.


Homophobia in Silicon Valley

Tech workers and computer scientists like to view themselves as beings of pure reason and logic. And, by extension, they like to see their industry as a meritocracy, where people rise to the top because they work harder and they’re more talented, not because of irrational things like favoritism, nepotism or prejudice. But, as the study suggests, the same cultural biases that exist everywhere else have a home in Silicon Valley too.

But this news should come as no surprise to anyone studying the gay pay gap. Previous studies have found that LGBTQ workers earn less than heterosexual workers across the board. Gay men on average earn about 11% less than straight men.

In general, having traits that don’t conform to rigid gender roles can be a career-killer. A study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that having a “gay”-sounding voice makes it harder to get a high-ranking job or a good salary recommendation.


(Featured image by Cecilie_Arcurs via iStock)

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