The jobs with the highest gender pay gaps
It's hard to argue that women don't take some kind of salary penalty-most studies have found some gap between what the genders earn-but in some fields, women are at a particular disadvantage, new research shows.
A report released Wednesday by salary website Glassdoor found that that women are paid, on average, five cents less on the dollar then men in the same position, who are equally qualified, and who work at the same company. The study, which analyzed 505,000 salary reports from full-time employees in 25 industries, adjusted for factors like age, experience, company, state, industry, level of education, and job title. Men earn a base pay that's 24 percent higher than women on average. Computer scientists see the largest gap, at 28 percent.
Many women may have no idea that they're earning less than the guy at the next desk. "Money is considered the final frontier of shame," said Sallie Krawcheck, the CEO and co-founder of Ellevest, a digital adviser for women. "People are often reticent to talk about how much they make and how they invest, and that can lead to women not realizing how big the wage gap actually is."
Women may undervalue their education in salary negotiations, said Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor. "We're moving toward a workforce where women are better educated than men on average, and if women don't fully understand the value of their degree, they may not be asking for what they deserve."
Jobs with wide pay gaps are common in health care: women who are dentists, physicians, psychologists, pharmacists, medical technicians and opticians see a difference in pay from their male colleagues that ranges from 14 percent to 28 percent.
Media has one of the higher wage gaps at 6.6 percent - above finance, government and manufacturing - because it includes jobs from new types of media, like videographers, digital content producers and software engineers that are male-dominated and have a higher wage gap, said Chamberlain. "Establishing fair pay is going to be one of the big challenges tech and media companies are going to face."
In 2015, California passed California Fair Pay Act to ameliorate the pay gap in that state by mandating that male and female employees who do "substantially similar" work are paid the same. In this light, the bill gives more power to employees who feel their compensation reflects workplace discrimination.
Such laws serve a twofold purpose, said Dawn Lyon Glassdoor's vice president of corporate affairs: It exposes the wage gap and helps women renegotiate their salaries as labor market conditions and experience levels change. These laws may be particularly useful in tech, where the gap is between 5.9 and 6.6 percent, said Chamberlain. "It's the wild west in the sense that it's hard for anyone to figure out what they're worth with jobs that are so new," said Chamberlain.
The role with the smallest gender wage gap is event coordinator, with 0.2 percent higher average male pay. Some occupations, including social worker, communications associate, social media representative and research assistant, even swing in the other direction: women earn marginally more than men.
Krawcheck suggests women overcome their discomfort about asking for a raise. "Getting to his dollar represents a 30 percent or more increase in our pay," she said, referencing the Bureau of Labor Statistics figure. "If you make $85,000 a year and get the raise to men's level, that adds up to $1.7 million over the course of 30 years - that's worth the short-term stress."