UK tech startups have the worst gender pay gap in Europe

UK tech gender pay gap

Tech startups in the UK are paying women 26% less than their male counterparts, the highest unadjusted gender pay gap in Europe.

The figures, published on International Women’s Day, show that women working in the UK tech industry are on average paid 74p for every £1 earned by men.

The tech gender pay gap is 22% in Germany and 20% in the Netherlands, according to data from compensation benchmarking platform Figures and recruitment platform 50inTech.

The data, which is taken from 1,000 startups and scaleups across Europe, shows that UK tech startups have a bigger gender pay gap than the country’s average across all sectors, which in 2022 stood at 14.9%.

However, the tech gender pay gap in the UK increased by 4p compared to the year prior, a four percentage-point change from 30% to 26%. In comparison, the whole of Europe has a gap of 19%.

“Startups in countries like the UK and Germany are starting to make marginal gains but it’s still not enough,” said Virgile Raingeard, co-founder and CEO of Figures.

“Salary transparency on job adverts is one way to start encouraging diversity in the industry, but companies will also need to look inwards at their policies and see how they can make a change for the better.”

UK tech gender pay gap: women paid less in software roles

The data, published in the ‘Gender Pay Gap Guide’, is not adjusted for role type or seniority and instead looks at the raw data. A notable factor driving the gap is the higher proportion of men in senior tech roles. Across Europe, for example, there are six male executives for every female executive.

However, in some areas, women are being paid less for the same role. UK female software engineers are paid up to 20% less than a man in the same role. The difference was less stark in the Netherlands and France, which showed a 12% disparity.

Hélène Lucien, CPO, 50inTech, said: “Salary transparency is only the tip of the iceberg, there needs to be systemic action to support women from reliable tools to display median salaries in tech to better access to qualified networks of mentors – this will help them thrive at work and ultimately make businesses more successful.”

Female-founded businesses continue to attract significantly less funding than male-founded tech startups. Separate figures published by the UK government today show that tech firms founded by women secured just 15% of equity funding last year.