Wage Gap Remains ‘Stuck’ As Women Still Earn 80% Of What Men Do

By Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz
Chicago Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A new report reveals that only in two occupational categories, “dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers” and ‘wholesale and retail buyers, except farm products’, do women earn more than men, while in 107 occupations women earn less than 95 percent of their male counterparts.

Chicago Tribune

As Equal Pay Day arrives Tuesday, any progress toward closing pay disparities between male and female employees comes without much evidence of change on the statistical front.

The most recent annual government data show that women who work full-time, year-round still earn 80 cents for every dollar men earn, a level that has hardly budged over the past decade after rising from about 60 cents in 1980.

“The wage gap seems to be stuck,” said Vicki Shabo, vice president for workplace policies and strategies at the National Partnership for Women and Families, which cites annual figures, rather than weekly figures showing an 82-cents-to-the-dollar disparity, to avoid fluctuations that come with seasonal work.

The gap exists, to varying degrees, across jobs and industries. Personal financial advisers show the largest disparity, with women’s median weekly earnings at 59 percent that of men’s, according to an analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

Only in two occupational categories, “dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers” and ‘wholesale and retail buyers, except farm products’, do women earn more than men, while in 107 occupations women earn less than 95 percent of their male counterparts, the report found.

That is still not an apples-to-apples comparison. Controlling for occupation, industry, education, experience and other factors that influence salary, the nation’s gender pay gap is less than 3 cents, according to a PayScale survey of over 2 million people.

But the overall 20-cent gap matters because it reflects that far fewer women than men are in executive roles and other higher paid positions, and that the industries in which women are more likely to work tend to be lower paid.

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