GoDaddy’s Salary Gap Report Shows Progress, But Not The Whole Story

This week at the Grace Hopper Celebration, GoDaddy took the diversity reports we’re now used to seeing from major tech companies to another level.

Instead of producing a report that only indicated the number of men and women in various positions throughout the company, GoDaddy’s report included the pay disparities between men and women working for the company as well.

The approach is certainly interesting, and a different one than we’re used to seeing from tech companies. What’s perhaps most surprising is that GoDaddy, a company probably best known for its notoriously sexist ad campaigns, has a seemingly very small pay gap.

Overall, throughout the whole company women are paid .28 percent more than men. If you narrow the focus to technical roles, women are earning .11 percent less than men. That gap widens for executive positions with an almost 4 percent decrease for women. Objectively, these findings are significantly better than the national average, which is an 18 percent difference.

However, there are two limitations to this progress that even GoDaddy admits. First, while the actual numbers for women working for the company have increased in the past year, they are still far from being equal to men. The report shows that overall, the company is comprised of 25 percent women. For technical roles, that number dips to 20 percent. These numbers, while discouraging, aren’t at all surprising when compared with other diversity reports.

Second, this report is focused entirely on gender. Yes, it is labeled “Gender Diversity Stats” and was released at the Grace Hopper Celebration for women in technology. Of course, it makes sense that this report would have a focus on gender.

However, disregarding the impact of race with regard to pay inequality shows an ignorance that shouldn’t be overlooked. Yes, GoDaddy admitted there were limitations to the data regarding race that they eventually hope to improve. But why wasn’t race included in the first place? The Grace Hopper Celebration isn’t only for white women in technology, and certainly white women aren’t the only ones suffering from pay inequality. Quite the opposite, in fact.

The reason it’s so critical to include race in reports on pay inequality is that race does, unfortunately, play at least as big a role in what a person earns as their gender. Nationwide, while white women earn only 82 percent of what white men make, that gap gapes even wider for women of color. For example, a black woman doing the same job with the same qualifications as a white man will make only 68 percent of his salary. An Hispanic woman will make only 61 percent. For the same job. This is why, while it truly is impressive that GoDaddy’s gender pay disparity is so small, it is imperative that we recognize this is not the whole story.

It is entirely possible that updated data could reveal that the pay gap at the company is this small across race and gender. That would be really impressive news. Even so, GoDaddy is one company and, in this case at least, the exception and not the rule.

With tech companies comprised primarily of white men, it’s crucial to remember that diversity efforts must be broader and not focus exclusively on gender. Reports demonstrating the data of those efforts should reflect the same broader focus and understand the ways race and gender impact one another when it comes to pay and opportunity.

Efforts to increase the diversity of the tech industry have many facets. Ensuring that all employees, regardless of race, gender, etc., are paid according to what they deserve is a huge step toward making this industry inclusive and welcoming for everyone.

Photo via Flickr