Sexism still rife in IT support

Survey: Is that a bigger pay cheque in your wallet or are you just pleased to see me?

Male IT support workers earn on average 18 percent more than their female colleagues in similar jobs, according to research published on Monday.

The research, commissioned by the Help Desk Institute, found that the average salary of male IT support workers is £32,924, compared to just £27,868 for women. Despite this, men were consistently more dissatisfied with their level of pay than women, said the researchers, and women appear to be promoted faster. One in four women said they had been promoted in the past year, compared to only one in seven men.

Elsewhere in the survey, it appears that IT managers earn an average of £40,346 a year but have to work hard for it; 60 percent of them put in more than 40 hours a week.

The figures revealed that 40 percent of managers boost their salary with bonuses. Their underlings are not so fortunate: just 17 percent of helpdesk operators surveyed get bonuses. The average salary among this group is predictably lower too, at £14,557. But there is hope, with two thirds of those holding a relevant qualification saying that it had helped them secure an increase in salary or get a promotion.

Problems remain, said the researchers, with keeping IT staff motivated and raising levels of job satisfaction, as shown by 44 percent of those questioned left their previous job in under three years. Helpdesk operators were the most likely to change jobs regularly, suggesting they are less satisfied with their jobs and salary levels. Among helpdesk operators, 39 percent said they cited lack of opportunity with their employer as the biggest reason for leaving their last job, with insufficient chance of training coming second. Among support technicians, lack of opportunity for advancement accounted for even more disgruntlement, with 44 percent quoting it as a factor.

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