School & District Management

Gender Gap in K-12 Ed-Tech Leadership Persists, Survey Finds

By Benjamin Herold — March 16, 2015 1 min read
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Women who hold information-technology leadership positions in K-12 school districts continue to face a pay- and prestige-gap, according to new survey information released Monday by the Consortium for School Networking.

While women K-12 IT leaders as a group are more likely to have advanced academic degrees and are more experienced than their male counterparts, they are over-represented in the lowest salary bands within their field, according to CoSN, a Washington-based organization of school-technology professionals.

Women are also far less likely than men to hold prestigious titles such as chief information officer, and far more likely to hold less prestigious titles such as technology coach.

Some of the specific figures released by CoSN in conjunction with the beginning of their annual conference, being held here this week:

  • 87 percent of women surveyed (compared to 72 percent of men) continued their academic studies after receiving a bachelor’s degree;
  • 80 percent of survey respondents who reported being in their current position for more than 20 years are women. Two-thirds of those with less than one year of experience are men;
  • Only a handful of K-12 chief technology officials earn more than $160,000 per year. All are men;
  • Women comprise 65 percent of those who reported making under $70,000 per year; and
  • 57 percent of male survey respondents have a background outside of education, compared to 24 percent of women.

The findings broadly track the results of an Education Week/CoSN analysis published last September based on data from CoSN’s 2013 annual survey. That study was a “wake-up call that gender bias does exist in K-12 education technology leadership,” CoSN CEO Keith Krueger said at the time.

CoSN also for the first time this year asked respondents to include their race/ethnicity: 88 percent of K-12 ed-tech leaders are white, according to the group.

And regardless of sex, IT leaders in the public-school sector are undercompensated relative to their peers in the private sector, according to this year’s CoSN results.

Salaries for K-12 technology leaders remained flat for the third consecutive year, according to the group.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.