Pay Equity Next Level For Data Science + Everyone

data science news salary negotiation + research Nov 14, 2022
Cartoon image of dollar bills.

Data Science Is On The Rise, But Salaries For Women Aren't, Will NY + CA's New Laws Help?

Despite new pay transparency statues in NY and CA, women working in data science are still paid less than their male counterparts. The generally accepted and quoted statistics is that women make 78 cents for every dollar a man earns. This discrepancy is even more pronounced for minority groups, with African American women earning only 64 cents and Hispanic women earning just 54 cents for every dollar earned by a white man. Others have covered these statistics well.

There are a number of reasons for this wage gap, including the prevalence of gender-based discrimination and the fact that women are more likely to take time off from their careers to care for children or elderly parents. However, one of the main factors contributing to the pay gap is the lack of transparency around salaries. Without accurate information on what people are earning, it is difficult to identify and address discrepancies in pay.

NY and CA To The Rescue?

That's why it's so important that states like New York and California have passed laws mandating pay transparency. These laws make it easier for employees to discern what their colleagues are making and identify unfair discrepancies. With this information in hand, workers may be able to better demand fair pay regardless of gender or race.

What This May Mean For You

Imagine the following conversation. It may sound familiar to you.

Employee: Can you tell me what others make who also work in the same role as me at this company? What is the bottom of the pay range? What is the top?

Employer: No, it's against company policy to discuss salaries.

In the past, this would have been a perfectly legal answer. With the new laws in NY and CA, however, employers will not be allowed to leave employees in the dark. Employees can soon request and receive salary information for positions that are similar to their own. This knowledge will help empower employees and level the playing field when it comes to pay.

Regarding Salary Research & Negotiation In General

Because I have frequently written on the topic of salary research and salary negotiation I am excited for these new laws because they may improve an employee's ability to accurately research and effectively negotiate. Which is excellent news because evidence suggests that negotiating salary can correlate with earning higher pay.

  • Those who conduct salary research are more than three times (3x) more likely to have six figure incomes.
  • Those who use three or more (3+) strategies appear to sometimes increase their odds of earning a six figure salary by as much as fifteen times (15x).
  • Of those with a six figure income, 90% reported using at least one salary research strategy.


It's clear that we need to do more to achieve pay equity in America. We need to pass more laws like North Carolina and California's, and we need to continue working to break down the barriers that prevent from attaining pay equity.

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