Industry and Academic Leaders Discuss Pay Equality in Technology

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Industry and Academic Leaders Discuss Pay Equality in Technology

Roundtable on Pay Equality Scheduled for Nov. 16

by Clayman Institute for Gender Research on Friday, November 11, 2016 - 5:04pm

Stanford, CA – November 11, 2016 

The technology industry drives innovation, fueling a large portion of the world economy. Yet technology companies still come under fire for pay discrepancies between women and men.

On November 16, Stanford University will host a roundtable of industry CEOs, executives and academics to examine the gender pay gap in tech, the underlying factors that prevent pay equality from being achieved, and the pathways to creating workable solutions.

 Stereotypes and bias affect career choices and career advancement

As many researchers have noted, occupational sorting—with women and men in different industries and jobs—accounts for a significant part of the gender pay gap. But this begs a deeper question.  “What we have to ask ourselves,” says Shelley Correll, professor of sociology at Stanford University, “is why are men and women ending up in different jobs?” 

According to Correll, stereotypes about women’s technical and leadership capabilities play a role in determining not only who enters technology careers but also who advances to senior roles in technology companies. “Women in technology experience all kinds of signals—starting at very early ages—that they are not as technically capable as men. But the effect of stereotypes doesn’t end there.”

Correll, who is also the Barbara D. Finberg Director of the Clayman Institute for Gender Research, says of her work with 36 companies and five national labs, “We find that, even once in the technology industry, women can find themselves steered out of technical roles and into careers such as marketing, human resources and project management, which often pay less and may not have the same potential for advancement.” Further, stereotypes may inadvertently cause managers to question the technical abilities of women, slowing their career pathways to higher paying jobs. As a result, women are less likely to stay in the engineering track.

Process needs to start in college—or before

Closing the pay gap is important, not only for senior women, but also for new college graduates. Sheri Sheppard, professor of mechanical engineering, studies the career paths of engineering graduates. She finds that even on the eve of graduation, proportionately more men than women are targeting engineering-focused careers, and that only a few years out of college, more men than women are actually in engineering occupations. “What we are now exploring are the motivations for women seeking non-engineering positions, and the collection of experiences women (and men) are having in college that inform their choices. Both men and women are searching for meaningful work and have similar financial concerns, but their undergraduate experiences may be translating into different choices and, ultimately, different workplace experiences and outcomes.”

Roundtable Event Details

WHAT: The Clayman Institute for Gender Research’s Center for the Advancement of Women’s Leadership at Stanford University, in partnership with the Stanford School of Engineering, is co-hosting the “Roundtable on Pay Equality in Technology,” co-sponsored by Glassdoor and to be livestreamed by the Stanford Alumni Association. 

WHEN: November 16, 2016 from 8:30 – 9:30 AM PST at Stanford University. 

WHO: Speakers include:

  • Shelley Correll (Barbara D. Finberg Faculty Director, Clayman Institute for Gender Research, Stanford University)
  • Robert Hohman (CEO and co-founder, Glassdoor)
  • Blake Irving (CEO, GoDaddy)
  • Cindy Robbins (EVP, Global Employee Success, Salesforce)
  • Sheri Sheppard (Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University).  


  • Opening remarks will be provided by Thomas Kenny (Richard W. Weiland Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs in the School of Engineering, Stanford University). 
  • The roundtable will be moderated by Lori Nishiura Mackenzie (Executive Director, Clayman Institute for Gender Research, Stanford University). 

The event will take place in front of a live, invite-only audience. The public is invited to watch the roundtable discussion via livestream. Registration is available on the event webpage at


EDITOR’S NOTE: there are a limited number of seats available for media to attend the live event. To RSVP, contact: Sandra Brenner, 

Contact:  Terra Terwilliger, Director of Strategic Marketing & Relationships, Center for the Advancement of Women’s Leadership, Clayman Institute for Gender Research,