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Men take large cut of the bonus pie in ICT sector

Men take large cut of the bonus pie in New Zealand’s ICT sector --- men’s payments 50 per cent higher than their female colleagues

Bonuses and benefits to attract and keep IT staff remain stable in New Zealand but the gender gap has blown out with men’s payments 50 per cent higher than their female colleagues, new research shows.

The survey of 5,316 professionals by ICT recruitment specialists Candle reveals over the past year 27 per cent of practitioners received an average bonus of $12,014, just three per cent up on the previous year (2012 – 2013).

The award of benefits however jumped with nearly 70 per cent of practitioners receiving one or more benefits such as overtime or healthcare subsidies, up from 58 per cent the previous year. Only 42 per cent of Australian ICT professionals received some kind of benefit.

The data drawn from the Candle NZ MySalaryPortal ( revealed the average bonus received by males in the profession was $13,176 compared to a $8,624 for women – a $4,552 gap. Similar research in Australia shows the gap was just under half that at $2,845.

Candle New Zealand Country Manager Troy Hammond said the discrepancy between the genders reflects the sheer numbers of men in IT which has been a traditional career path, although this is changing.

“The bulk of the IT workforce in New Zealand is male and that’s reflected in the bonus payments but looking at the market now, we’re seeing a lot more women going into IT, particularly in sales roles, and having a lot of success,” he said,.

Housing affordability and accessibility -in business hubs such as Auckland and increasingly Christchurch - are pushing up salary demands and lifestyle related benefits.

“In the bigger established players, people are tending to go for security with higher salaries than an ‘at risk component’. Bonuses are still popular however in IT sales and in consulting where there’s a sales element to the role,” Mr Hammond said.

“At the other end of the scale, in the start up community, we’re seeing share options being offered rather than bonuses.”

One of the biggest bonuses, of $225,000, was paid to a Wellington Sales Account Manager working at a medium sized IT & Internet company and with no direct reports. He has a Postgraduate degree and between 11 and 15 years experience.

In terms of benefit trends, Mr Hammond said company paid training was the big mover reflecting, and together with a sharp increase in overtime payments reflected ongoing innovation in the market but not enough people to handle the new opportunities being generated.

“Lifestyle is the biggest one that we see these days where people would rather a day from home or get flexi time rather than a bonus,” Mr Hammond said.

Top IT benefits across New Zealand

Benefit 2013 - 2014 2012 - 2013
1 Mobile phone/mobile allowance 18.9% 16.6%
2 Flexible working hours 17% 8%
3 Health care subsidies 13.5% 20%
4 Company paid training 13.1% 1.6%
5 Car park 11.9% 27%
6 Overtime payments 6.7% 1.5%
7 Extra annual leave 4.9% 8.8%
8 Additional Superannuation 3.9% 2.7%
9 Car and/or car allowance 3.3% 11.6%
10 Gym/health club membership 3.3% 0.7%

Conversely in Australia, mobile phones topped the list followed by a car park and then car allowances.


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