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The gender pay gap in Canada’s technology sector almost tripled between 2016 and 2021, amounting to the average salary of a woman in the industry being about $20,000 less than her male counterpart, according to a new report by researchers at The Dais, a public policy organization based at Toronto Metropolitan University.

The report, which reviewed Canadian census data, found the average female tech worker was making $71,400 in 2021, compared with $91,000 earned by their male counterpart. The numbers indicated the gender pay gap among tech workers has widened significantly since 2016, when men earned $7,200 more than women.

Read: Head to head: Are employers making progress on the gender pay gap?

Viet Vu, The Dais’ acting director of policy and research, says the increase surprised him given the attention that has been paid to diversity, equity and inclusion in recent years. While everything from pay associated with remote work to seniority can shape the gap, he points to a “peculiar” trend that also contributed to the figures. Vu says women in tech who were earning within the 60th to the 80th percentile, such as senior people who are not yet at the executive level, didn’t experience any wage growth over those five years. However, men in the same range saw their earnings jump and those in the higher groups received hourly wage increases of $15 more than women received.

“This is a fascinating thing because we’ve controlled for so many of these usual suspects, whether that [is] a new child that arrived or also things like how often people switched jobs,” adds Vu.

Because the study controlled for all the common arguments, Marissa McNeelands, chief executive officer and co-founder of women’s tech collective Toast, says the report proves “the people in power controlling salary decisions are letting women get paid less.”

Her fellow co-founder April Hicke notes the results also reflect how much “performative allyship” permeates the industry and the vast amount of work still to be done to bring parity to the sector.

Read: More work to be done in shrinking Canada’s gender pay gap: report

The Dais’ report also found women weren’t the only group of tech workers to experience a pay gap. When its researchers looked at the earnings of tech workers who were visible minorities, they found those in the group made an average of $78,800 a year in Canada in 2021, compared with $93,000 for those not considered part of a visible minority group. Indeed, the lowest paid were Black tech workers, who earned $70,955 on average, and Filipino workers, who made $73,079.

“For Black tech workers, this is a sad news story where we found that in 2016, the pay gap was about $16,000,” says Vu, noting now it’s actually about $22,000.

Notably, Arab tech workers, who had an average salary of $98,581, out-earned even those not from visible minority groups. Looking at trends among Indigenous tech workers, researchers found the average salary was $14,000 less than their non-Indigenous counterparts who made $86,800.

The report also concluded Canadian tech workers earn $40,000 more per year than workers employed in other fields — although its reseachers noted Canadian tech workers still make 46 per cent less on average than their U.S. counterparts.

Read: Survey finds half of U.S. workers report gender pay gap