Highest salaries, widest gender pay gap in IT sector

Even though the IT sector was paid about 24% higher than the median salary of the country, only 57.4% employees in the segment are satisfied with their pay


When it came to salaries, women earned 37% less than men in IT, 25% in manufacturing and 18% in finance, the report found. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint
When it came to salaries, women earned 37% less than men in IT, 25% in manufacturing and 18% in finance, the report found. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Bengaluru: India’s $132 billion information technology (IT) sector recorded the highest salaries as well as the widest disparity in the compensation given to men and women employees in 2015, according to the Monster Salary Index for 2015.

The index is a joint initiative by job search site Monster India and Paycheck.in with the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad as a research partner.

Of the three sectors surveyed—IT, manufacturing and the combined group of banking, finance and insurance companies—the median gross hourly salary in the IT sector was the highest at Rs.346.42. That is significantly higher than the median salary for Indian corporates at Rs.279.7.

Interestingly, even though the IT sector was paid about 24% higher than the median salary of the country, only 57.4% employees in the segment are satisfied with their pay, the report showed.

“The IT and BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance ) sectors have always been among the most paid in India but over 50 % of employees in both these sectors are least satisfied with their salaries,” said Sanjay Modi, managing director, Monster India, adding that the sectors will have to try harder to retain key talent.

It is not unusual for employees to want more.

Across industries, irrespective of salary levels, there often tends to be high levels of dissatisfaction with pay, said Nishchae Suri, partner and head of people and change advisory, KPMG in India. “One reason could be because there is lack of clarity in pay communication. Organisations are not very transparent in their pay decisions and the communication is not purposeful enough, leading to overall dissatisfaction.”

When it came to salaries, women in IT earned 37% less than men. The gender pay disparity was pegged at 25% in manufacturing and at 18% in finance, the report showed.

Men get promoted to supervisory positions more often than women. Also, women typically take more career breaks (tied to marriage, pregnancy, maternity), hurting their negotiating capacity in the labour market. Hence, men with similar experience earn higher salaries than women, says the report.

Suri finds that organisations don’t perpetuate a conscious bias.

“I don’t believe companies adopt a view to pay women lesser. Pay between men and women should be compared with respect to overall experience, qualification and contribution in the given role,” he said.