HIMSS: Pay gap widens for female health IT professionals

The pay gap between male and female health IT workers has been widening since 2006, according to a report from the Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS).

Its survey, part of a biennial compensation report, included more than 1,900 respondents. Gender gaps in wages and in senior management were both topics addressed at HIMSS annual meeting in Las Vegas in March.

While salaries grew for both men and women in health IT between 2006 and 2015, overall, the pay gap grew by 2.7 percent. Female HIT workers’ salaries were 80.7 percent that of men’s in 2006 and were at 78 percent at the end of 2015.

The pay gap widened for female senior/executive managers, who were paid 89.4 percent that of their male peers in 2006 compared with 85.5 percent in 2015.

Women at the manager level were the only ones who saw the pay group narrow, from 91.7 percent in 2006 to 92.4 percent in 2015.

The pay gap for new female HIT workers widened by 11.1 percentage points from 83.2 percent in 2006 to 72.1 percent in 2015. It was the opposite for longer-tenured female HIT workers, where the gap narrowed by 8.2 percentage points.

While these trends generally held true regardless of the type of employer, HIT vendors reduced the gap from 87.9 percent in 2006 to 91 percent in 2015. That’s improvement of 4 percentage points since 2008.

Meanwhile, the pay gap at for-profit providers grew worse, with 67 percent for women IT professionals compared to what men make, down from 73 percent in 2008.

“To attract and retain talented women for the health IT workforce, we must demonstrate compensation equity for women and men," Carla Smith, executive vice president of HIMSS, said in an announcement. "This assessment shows that while we have much work to do, there are sectors of the industry where the gender gap is closing clearly suggesting that gender equity in compensation is possible.”

To learn more:
- here's the report
- read the announcement