HIMSS posits an ‘imbalanced reward system favoring males’ in health IT

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Not only are women health IT workers paid less than their male counterparts, but they also have fewer opportunities to advance to executive levels within the field.

A new report from HIMSS delves into the duel disparity from the vantage point of the organization’s annual compensation survey released a few months ago.

The survey found an average difference of nearly $30,000 in salaries between men and women. Among other thought-provoking wrinkles, the new report stresses that it matters where a woman works.

Nonprofit healthcare organizations have the greatest pay disparities, as women in non-executive/non-senior-management roles make 89 cents for each dollar earned by their male peers, according to the report.

Worse yet, women who reach the upper echelons of their profession in nonprofit settings, rising to executive and senior-management roles, earn just 83 percent of what the men make.

Softening the blow for some will be the finding that, in for-profit healthcare orgs, women in non-executive/non-senior-management roles are compensated at the same salary rates as men in those roles.

As for access to opportunities for advancement, the survey showed only 14 percent of women who responded to the compensation survey were working in senior management/executive leadership roles.

For men the rate was 21 percent.

What explains the compensation and opportunity gaps where they exist?

“[I]t is very possible our sector unconsciously employs an imbalanced reward system favoring males,” the study authors write.

For solutions, the authors point out that the first step is to acknowledge the problem exists.

“By publishing these findings,” they add, “HIMSS hopes to cultivate a conversation, further research and proactive problem-solving to address gender-based compensation inequities, and to champion the inclusion of a clinical IT executive in leadership.”

The organization has posted the full report.