New data has identified the date when every woman in computing will start working for free this year, based on the difference in average earnings between men and women.  

The findings, provided by web design company DesignRush, analysed the current gender pay gap in the computing industry, as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau, and compared this to the 2024 working calendar to identify this year’s ‘equal pay day’ in every state. 

An ‘equal pay day’ is a symbolic measure that identifies when, on average, women’s earnings catch up to those reported by men in the previous year. It works to highlight the ongoing gender pay gap, which is prevalent in male-dominated fields like computing. 

And with female developers across the US currently earning an average of 84.2% of what their male counterparts make, they’ll work for free for 41 days this year.  

This means that women who work in the computing field will ‘stop getting paid’ on November 20 nationwide – although this date will be even earlier in the states with a larger pay disparity. 

The gender pay gap can vary from state to state due to factors like educational attainment, with those who are more qualified earning more for the same role, the diversity of the workforce in each state, and family policies that affect the value of paid parental leave.  

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

The state with the largest pay gap is Alaska, with female developers currently making just 60.6% of what male developers earn. This means they effectively work for free for 39.4% of the working calendar, or 103 days – so stop getting paid on September 19 this year.  

Following behind as the states with the second most significant pay disparity in the computing field are North Dakota and Delaware, with women earning 66,3% of what men earn. This equates to 88 days unpaid, so women stop making money from October 4. 

In Mississippi, female developers will start working for free from October 20, as they are paid 27.6% less than their male counterparts, while those in Arkansas will cease to get paid from October 22 – 70 days earlier than men working in the same field.  

The 10 states with the biggest computing pay disparity   

 State Women’s Earnings as Proportion of Men’s Earnings (Computing) 2024 Date When Women Start Working for Free  
1 Alaska 60.6%  September 19 
2 North Dakota 66.3% October 4 
3 Delaware 66.5% October 4 
4 Mississippi 72.4% October 20 
5 Arkansas 73.2% October 22 
6 North Carolina 75.0% October 26 
7 Nebraska 75.9% October 29 
8 Utah 76.2% October 30 
9 Kansas 78.1% November 4 
10 California 79.5% November 7 

On the other end of the scale, the state with the smallest pay disparity within the computing sector is South Dakota, with female developers earning 99.1% of what their male counterparts make. This means they start working for free from December 29.  

In Idaho, this work-for-free date is slightly earlier on December 21, as women working in development earn 3.8% less than men, while in Connecticut, female developers stop getting paid on December 16 due to making 94.3% of their male counterparts’ earnings.  

Although this is significantly smaller, no state reported equal pay within computing, pointing to nationwide gender-based discrimination and a lack of equal opportunities.  

The gender pay gap reported across computing professions is also slightly larger than the national average across all industries, which stood at 82%, according to the latest figures from the Pew Research Center. 

The 10 states with the smallest computing pay disparity 

 State Women’s Earnings as Proportion of Men’s Earnings (Computing) 2024 Date When Women Start Working for Free  
1 South Dakota 99.1% December 29 
2 Idaho 96.2% December 21 
3 Connecticut 94.3% December 16 
4 Montana 94.1% December 15 
5 Indiana 93.4% December 15 
6 Tennessee 93.3% December 13 
7 Nevada 91.0% December 7 
8 Oregon 90.4% December 6 
9 New York 90.3% December 6 
10 Maryland 89.9% December 5 

In 2023, over half of global organisations reported a skills shortage in tech (54%), while a recent Deloitte survey identified recruiting and retaining talent as the biggest tech workforce challenges – despite significant layoffs. 

Yet many skilled women working in the computing sector will be put off applying for positions at organisations with a significant gender pay disparity – particularly if they feel at risk of discrimination due to maternity leave issues, unfair treatment, or a lack of accommodations. 

Commenting on the findings, DesignRush, general manager, Gianluca Ferruggia, said: While skill gaps can stem from changing organisation needs, increased globalisation, or inadequate training systems, it can also be exacerbated by difficulties attracting and retaining qualified workers – especially in a competitive field like computing.  

“Last year saw widespread layoffs across the tech sector, with reportedly more than three million workers being affected by this mass workforce reduction. Yet most of these organisations will need to retain their current talent and attract new skilled workers to remain operational – and if they have difficulty doing so, they need to evaluate why that may be. 

“Discrimination of any kind is unethical and should not be tolerated, including gender disparity. Not providing equal opportunities for female workers to advance their careers or get compensated equally reflects poorly on your ability to manage, maintain, and satisfy your current workforce and needs rectifying as a priority this year.”