HIMSS 10-Year Analysis: Female Health IT Workers Continue to Earn Less Than Male Peers

Female health information technology (IT) workers in the United States have been consistently paid less over the past 10 years than their male peers, with the pay gap disparity worsening over time, according to a study of compensation data gathered and analyzed by HIMSS.

The HIMSS Longitudinal Gender Compensation Assessment report summarizes data from the biennial HIMSS Compensation Surveys for the years 2006 through 2015. The respondents are predominantly from the United States.  In 2006, the average female IT worker made 81 percent of the average male IT worker’s pay. By 2015, this compensation gap widened to 78 percent. Among different types of organizations, health IT vendors/consultants demonstrated the most progressiveness, paying women 91 percent of what they paid men in 2015.

“To attract and retain talented women for the health IT workforce, we must demonstrate compensation equity for women and men. This assessment shows that while we have much work to do, there are sectors of the industry where the gender gap is closing clearly suggesting that gender equity in compensation is possible,” said Carla Smith, executive vice president, HIMSS, and leader of the HIMSS North American business unit.

Smith outlined various initiatives HIMSS has launched to help achieve compensation equity, including the new Most Influential Women in Health IT Awards, which will recognize its first roster of high achievers at the HIMSS17 conference in Orlando. Nominations for the Award open on August 1.  In addition, HIMSS is launching a Roundtable for any professional interested in supporting women’s achievement of meaningful careers of increasing authority and leadership.  And, each year HIMSS makes the Women in Health IT Networking Reception and Women in Health IT Roundtable important aspects of its annual conference and exhibition. “We remain committed to adding gender-focused resources for networking, mentoring and career advancement,” Smith added.

The HIMSS 10-year compensation assessment analyzed the pay gap between women and men healthcare IT workers as influenced by four factors:

  1. tenure in their current position,
  2. level of managerial responsibility,
  3. type of healthcare organization, and
  4. organizational tax status.

No matter how the data was analyzed, a general pay gap pattern emerged. The analysis yielded the most remarkable findings, however, when considering both the type of health organization (e.g. provider, vendor, etc.) and the organization’s tax status.

For example, in 2015, health IT vendors/consultants reflected the “most equitable” of working environments compensating female IT workers, on average, at 92 percent of their male peers. This represents a four percentage point improvement over the gap evident in 2008.  By comparison, for-profit providers showed the greatest compensation disparities, paying woman IT professionals, on average, only 67 percent of what they paid men to do the same work, down from 73 percent in 2008.

Learn more about the compensation assessment.

About HIMSS North America

HIMSS North America, a business unit within HIMSS, positively transforms health and healthcare through the best use of information technology in the United States and Canada. As a cause‐based non‐profit, HIMSS North America provides thought leadership, community building, professional development, public policy, and events. HIMSS North America represents 64,000 individual members, 640 corporate members, and over 450 non‐profit organizations. Thousands of volunteers work with HIMSS to improve the quality, cost‐effectiveness, access, and value of healthcare through IT. Major initiatives within HIMSS North America include the HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition, National Health IT Week, HIMSS Innovation Center, HIMSS Interoperability Showcases™, HIMSS Health IT Value Suite, and ConCert by HIMSS™.


HIMSS is a global voice, advisor, convener, and thought leader of health transformation through the best use of IT with a unique breadth and depth of expertise and capabilities to improve the quality, safety, and cost‐effectiveness of health and healthcare. Through its network of over 1 million professionals, including 64,000‐plus members, HIMSS advises leaders, stakeholders and influencers globally on IT best practices to ensure decision‐makers have the right information at the right time to make the right decisions. HIMSS North America, HIMSS Analytics, Personal Connected Health Alliance, HIMSS Media and HIMSS International (HIMSS Europe, HIMSS Asia and HIMSS Middle East) are the five business units of HIMSS. A not‐for‐profit headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, HIMSS has additional offices in North America, Europe, United Kingdom, and Asia.


HIMSS; health IT; women in health IT;
Media Contact: 
Joyce Lofstrom