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The topic of gender equality, though not unique to start-ups, is becoming increasingly important, particularly in reference to pay. Being at the initial stages of business, start-ups are in a good position to implement the best initiatives to achieve equal pay and close the gender pay gap from the start.

We are proud to partner with Figures - the salary benchmark startup - to reveal the real gender pay gap data in Europe.

The competition for talent is at an all time high and the challenge for companies is to have the best teams to increase their market share. As we know, the most successful teams are those that are balanced in terms of gender representation. In case you don’t already know, women are raising their standards and becoming empowered to negotiate their salaries and earn their worth… as they should.

This is why we are particularly proud of our partnership with Figures to highlight actions promoting equal pay between women and men, such as;

  • implementing transparent pay scales,
  • transparently sharing salary scales in workstations and
  • being more transparent about measures of the gender pay gap.

This partnership aims to help companies figure out employee’s compensation packages and salary bands in your salary grid, a task that can sometimes be complicated if you lack direction.  

After consulting over 70 inclusive companies partnered with 50inTech, we found that the vast majority are aware of the gender pay gap from the onset, and many are taking concrete actions to lead with equal pay.

We’re proud that 30+ of our clients are on the list of the 522 companies across Europe using Figures. 

Equal Pay is one the most demanded diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) actions from our community, another reason for this partnership.

19% unadjusted gender pay gap and 5% adjusted pay gap in EU start-ups 


In their article “The state of gender equality in EU startups” Figures cite a 19% unadjusted gender pay gap and 5% adjusted gender pay gap (meaning for the exact same jobs as their male counterparts) in EU start-ups. Women are finally holding companies accountable for the systematic problems of pay inequity and pay inequality.


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But what is the difference between pay equity and pay equality?

Pay equity is about paying people in the same role or doing comparable work, with the same professional characteristics equal compensation. If you keep this metric at the base of your equitable compensation strategy, the likelihood of having a gender pay gap is already decreased. 

Wait, it doesn't stop there. Something else that we need to pay attention to is pay equality. Oh yes, it’s a different concept altogether - pay equity and pay inequality are not interchangeable.

Pay equality adds an extra layer by looking at the impact on salary because of unequal access to opportunities. For instance, if women in tech were proportionally distributed across the pay scale as men are, we would achieve gender pay equality. But that’s usually not the case. In fact, Figures report how gender stereotypes play a part in the promotion and fair pay of women in leadership positions, so unfortunately it’s no surprise that only 17% and 29% of women occupy C-Level and VP positions respectively. If women were considered for promotions and higher earning jobs at a proportional rate to men, we would achieve gender pay equality - the same concept applies to other marginalized groups such as people of colour, people with disabilities, people who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, and other minorities.

So what does this mean for companies? It means that companies need to break down all systematic barriers to inclusion, to achieve equal access to opportunities and then equality. Look into your gender pay gap data and ask yourselves the following question:


Are our employee salaries based on objective metrics for recruitment, performance, advancement and compensation? 

No? Well then there’s some work to do, and Figures is a great starting point. 

With their compensation app, start-ups and scale-ups alike can use Figures’ European benchmark data and innovative salary indicators to inform their compensation policies, and of course improve pay equity. That’s just scratching the surface, there is so much more to the app that you can learn from their website. The best part? It simplifies a companies salary determination process and provides accurately sourced figures (excuse the pun).

How, as a candidate, can you ensure a commitment to equal pay?

Although the movement to close the gender pay gap is gaining momentum at national and international levels in the EU and globally, many companies are still inactive and trailing behind - it’s just not good enough. For the candidates, there’s nothing more reassuring than knowing that your potential employer is committed to equal pay, right? 

What you can look for in terms of data to get a better idea of your potential employers engagement:

  • Seeing an equal representation of women at different seniority levels, and across different jobs roles (especially decision-making leadership positions) is a good indicator of your potential professional experience. Bonus points if they’re being paid equally and equitably! 
  • If they are a fairly new company, with a small team, ask questions about their plans and commitment to supporting internal career progression, during the recruitment process. 

How to negotiate your salary? 

We have the masterclass you need!!

Last year we hosted our second annual “What I Really Really Want” Bootcamp to help empower women when it comes to salary negotiation and it was a hit, once-again. Why, you may ask?

Because all the women who participated in the event and who applied the advice obtained between 30 to 50% salary increase!!!

Watch the masterclasses:


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Women in Tech - we are here for you & we will make the changes this industry needs to get you equal pay all day, every day, together! 

We have partnered with many company’s with leaders that have shown a commitment to equal pay and using tools like Figures for guidance. What it’s proved is that it’s never too early to act for change. 

Companies - what will you do to empower and help women in tech feel more secure in knowing that they are being paid their worth at your company? Join us

Talents - Join the movement, find your next position, take advantage of our free bootcamps and masterclasses throughout the year that target our four pillars that we consider important for the inclusion of women in tech:

Equal Pay, Fair Career Path, Work-Life Balance and Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassmment.


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