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Gender pay gap among health IT workers grows wider

Female health IT professionals in the U.S. are paid less than their male counterparts, and the wage gap between the two has only grown larger over the past decade.

In 2006, the average female health IT worker was paid 80.7% of what her male counterpart earned, according to the biennial HIMSS Longitudinal Gender Compensation Disparity Study. In 2015, that number decreased to 78% of what male health IT workers earned.

The disparity in pay by tenure — defined by the study as how long a worker has been in their current position — has also widened since 2006. New female health IT workers who had less than one year tenure earned 83.2% of what new male health IT workers earned. Furthermore, female health IT workers with 15 or more years tenure were paid 77.7% of what their male counterparts earned. Then, in 2015, the wage gap between new male and female health IT workers widened while the gap between longer tenured male and female workers narrowed. New female health IT workers earned 72.1% of what male health IT workers earned, while those with 15 plus years tenure earned 85.9% of what their male counterparts with similar tenure earned.

There was also a discrepancy in pay between male and female workers with the same title, although the gap has narrowed for management level workers:

  • Female health IT managers earned 91.7% of what male health IT managers were paid in 2006, but in 2015, female health IT managers earned 92.4% of what their counterparts earned.
  • Female non-management level workers earned 93.7% of what their male counterparts earned in 2006 versus 91.7% in 2015.
  • Female senior/executive managers earned 89.4% of what their male counterparts earned in 2006 versus 85.5% in 2015.

Among female health IT professionals who work for health IT vendors, the pay gap has narrowed since 2006. That year, female health IT workers earned 87.9% of what their male counterparts earned, compared to 91.0% in 2015. The gap has remained steady at 77.5% for female health IT professionals who work for hospitals, but has widened for other organization types: 77.4% versus 73.1% for female health IT professionals who work for other providers , such as nursing homes, and 80.6% versus 78.7% for those who work in other healthcare organizations, such as health information exchanges.

As far as actual salaries, a 2015 HIMSS Salary Survey found that female health IT workers earned $100,762 annually, while male health IT workers earned $126,262 — a 21% discrepancy that reflects that national gender wage gap between full-time female and male workers.

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