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What Do Hollywood, Soccer and Tech Have In Common?

April 19,2016

What Do Hollywood, Soccer and Tech Have In Common? 

Plain and simple...inequity. Consider this.

The highest paid movie actors in 2015 made $431 million while the highest paid movie actresses made $218 million. And there's a $28 million discrepancy between the highest paid actor, Robert Downey Jr. at $80 million, and the highest paid actress in Hollywood, Jennifer Lawrence at $52 million.

The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team was awarded $2 million from FIFA for winning the World Cup last year. In comparison the German men received $35 million for their World Cup victory. The U.S. Men's National Team was awarded $8 million from FIFA...just for reaching the Round of 16! (1) 

The U.S. Soccer Federation appears to follow FIFA's gender pay gap mentality since female players are paid four times less than their male counterparts. As an example, if the women win 20 exhibition matches, the players will earn $99,000 while the men’s team members will earn $352,500 for accomplishing the same. (Oh, and by the way, the men will earn $100,000 each...even if they lose all 20 exhibition matches.) (2)

A similar pay gap trend exists in Tech.

Tech and the Gender Pay Gap



Opportunity Gap Exacerbates Pay Gap

In addition to a pay gap there also is an opportunity gap. People pay for experience. If a disproportionate number of men are given the opportunity to gain experience, it ends up becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy that men will outpace women when it comes to compensation. Female directors for example in television worked on only 16% of the 3,900 episodes produced last season. In movies, they accounted for just 7% of the top-grossing 250 films last year. (4)

Soccer fans know that FIFA is a good ol' boys club. To a certain degree, so is Tech- males dominate at all levels.

Positions Held by Gender 

Job Level

Tech Industry

Non-Tech Industry

Individual Contributor

68% Men / 32% Women

43% Men / 57% Women 


72% Men /28% Women

52% Men /48% Women


68% Men /32% Women

51% Men /49% Women


79% Men /21% Women

64% Men /36% Women


So What Needs To Change in the Tech World?

Women in Tech might want to take the cue from their actress and soccer-playing counterparts and beat the drum for equal pay for equal work. This is the 21st Century... right?

Women should also seek out (or rather demand) that more Tech and entrepreneurial opportunities be availed to them. And there's good reason to support that. A White Paper by Illuminate Ventures documents the performance of women entrepreneurs and the trends that justifies propelling them to lead the next wave of growth in global technology ventures:

·      Efficiency- The average venture-backed company run by a woman achieved comparable early-year revenues to male run venture-backed companies, using an average of one-third less committed capital.

·      Expanded IP Contributions- In a 20 year period, the annual number of U.S. female-invented fractional software patents increased 45 fold- three times the average growth in that sector.

·      Growing Influence- Woman-owned or led firms are the fastest growing sector of new venture creation in the U.S., now representing 50% of all privately held businesses.

·      Venture-Level Returns- In a 10 year period more than 125 companies with over 200 woman co-founders or officers achieved IPOs or greater than $50 million M&A exits in the U.S. high-tech sector alone.

·      Diversity Improves Performance- Organizations that are most inclusive in top management achieve 35% higher ROE and 34% better total return to shareholders versus their peers- and research shows diversity to be particularly valuable where innovation is key. (6)

Well I guess that says something.

Go Girls!

Dana Allison

Chief Operating Officer

IM Your Doc


(1) ThinkProgress.org July 20, 2015

(2) Mother Jones March31, 2016

(3) PayScale,”Tech and the Gender Pay Gap: IT's Complicated”

(4) Variety November 10, 2015

(5) PayScale,” Tech and the Gender Pay Gap: IT's Complicated”

(6) Illuminate Ventures, White Paper: “High Performance Entrepreneurs: Women in High Tech”