In report after report, companies like Apple, Google and Facebook all acknowledge that their workforces tilt heavily male. Silicon Valley companies are notoriously dominated by men, particularly in leadership roles and in jobs involving advanced technical skills. Men account for 7 in 10 workers at Twitter, for example.

Many of these companies have pledged to do better — and what’s heartening about this is that efforts to improve gender diversity could also wind up accelerating other positive workforce trends: namely, closing the gap between men and women when it comes to wages. Data already suggests that the gender pay gap is less pronounced in tech than in some important fields. Meanwhile, women’s wages as a percentage of men’s have been gaining ground for years, not just in technology but across the economy as a whole. The gender pay gap in tech is still worrying, not least because the sector’s become so vital to our national well-being. But it’s a promising trajectory we’re on.

Let’s start with where we stand today. Research from the National Center for Education Statistics shows a significant gender pay gap for the country’s most recent college grads. At this stage in people’s careers, there’s a 28 percent difference between women and men in computer science jobs and a 12 percent gender wage gap in engineering.