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British women in tech jobs: I quit

Survey reveals that despite faster promotions, women are leaving U.K. tech jobs in greater numbers, and gender pay gap has widened.

The number of women resigning from information technology jobs in the United Kingdom has risen over the last year, and the pay gap between the genders has widened for the first time in 11 years.

Research from the Chartered Management Institute and pay researcher Remuneration Economics shows that 5.7 percent of women working in IT resigned from their roles in 2006, a rise of 2.1 percent from the previous year.

In terms of pay, women saw an average pay rise of 2.9 percent, compared to a 3.1 percent increase for men, the first time in 11 years that men's earnings have risen more than women's.

But the National Management Salary Survey found that British female managers enjoy faster promotion than men, with a 37-year-old woman working as a team leader typically five years younger than her male counterpart.

Women are also more likely to receive a bonus than men, with just less than half in the IT sector (46.5 percent) receiving one-off bonus payments in 2006, compared to 30.8 percent of men. But these bonuses tend to be about 30 percent lower than men's--and make up a lower proportion of the total pay packet.

Among the 3,538 IT workers surveyed, female managers, on average, earned 45,465 pounds ($91,726) in 2006, about $4,237 less than men.

Compared to other sectors, women in IT are only the fifth most likely to resign: in the retail sector, 11.7 percent of female employees resigned in 2006, compared to 5.7 percent of female tech workers.

Jo Causon, director of marketing and corporate affairs at CMI, said gender bias appears to be getting worse because the increased likelihood of promotion is not reflected in parity of pay.

Val Lawson, chairwoman of the Women in Management Network, added that the increase in resignations is concerning, as it could have an impact on the current skills shortage.

Tim Ferguson of Silicon.com reported from London.