While some improvements in gender inequality have been made in the past decades, the unacceptable fact remains that women are paid much less, on average, than men. This is true even when women perform the exact same jobs. However, the gender pay gap varies considerably for workers in different careers.
Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Planet Money compared women’s earnings to those of male counterparts in hundreds of different jobs. Below, we show the jobs where the wage disparity is smallest, and those where the gap is the worst. The gender pay gap is based on comparisons of full-time workers.
Some aspect of this pay gap is linked to choices, even within single job categories. For example, among physicians, women have a greater tendency to go into lower-paid specialties (although this in itself does not explain many of the other pay gaps among doctors).
Furthermore, for workers in all professions, women are much more likely than men to take long periods of absence in order to raise children. This puts them at a considerable disadvantage since they are generally re-hired at lower pay than their counterparts who consistently remained in the workforce.
Yet not every difference in pay can be explained by such choices. A good deal of the disparity could be a product of simple discrimination, according to Ana Llena-Nozal, an economist at the OECD.
The Planet Money team explains that one other detail is worth noting here: jobs where the gap is biggest pay more, on average, than the jobs where the gap is lowest. The average weekly pay is $1,087 for jobs where the gap is biggest, and $773 for jobs where the gap is smallest.
The employment attorneys at Emery Reddy are committed advocates of worker equality. If you have experienced illegal employment practices—discrimination, wrongful termination, a wage dispute, or some other issue involving FMLA or ADA—we will defend your rights and help you receive the maximum compensation allowed under Washington law. Call our workers’ compensation firm today for help negotiating your claim.