Ed-Tech Leader Gender Gaps Identified in New Study

By Benjamin Herold
Education Week, Bethesda, Md. (MCT)

Female technology leaders working for U.S. school districts appear to earn less money than their male counterparts and face more limited access to the top positions in their field–despite tending to be more experienced and equally, if not better, credentialed.

Those findings come from original research conducted by Education Week and the Consortium for School Networking, or CoSN, a Washington-based professional association for school technology officials.

“This is a wake-up call that gender bias does exist in K-12 technology leadership,” said the consortium’s CEO, Keith R. Krueger. “School districts need to be conscious that this is a problem.”

The results–drawn from a relatively small survey administered by CoSN early this year–do not offer a definitive verdict on the existence or scale of gender gaps in pay and professional opportunities in K-12 educational technology.

They do, however, offer some quantitative validation of the concern increasingly being voiced by groups such as the International Leadership Network for Women in EdTech, formed in June in part to improve career opportunities and compensation for women in the public and private ed-tech sectors.

At the national level, the difference between what women and men are paid for similar work is receiving renewed attention as a significant policy issue.

The so-called gender pay gap is widely recognized, although calculating its exact size and nature can be difficult because of differences in workers’ qualifications and variations in how their work and compensation are structured.

In recent years, President Barack Obama and other leading Democrats have pushed for, but failed to pass, a federal Paycheck Fairness Act.

For workers in technology-related jobs in the private sector, the gender pay gap is significant, but narrower than for workers with similarly high-paying jobs in finance, business, or health care. Women, however, are underrepresented–often dramatically–in such positions.

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