Industry an Important Factor in the Gender Pay Gap

Women earned 80 cents on the dollar to men in the United States in 2017, according to a 2018 report from the American Association of University Women (AAUW). That disparity is even greater for women of color.

According to a 2017 report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), women’s median earnings are lower than men’s in “nearly all occupations.” That means that whether women work in occupations predominantly done by men, women, or an even amount, women’s earnings are less.

This analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows that there is a consistent pay gap across numerous industries:

In looking at the highest and lowest occupational categories, the gender representation in each varies. For the category with the smallest wage, gap, “Computer, All Occupations,” only 21.9% are women according to the BLS. One of the job titles in this category is web administrator.

The category with the biggest gap, Protective Service Occupations, has a similarly low female representation, at 22.5%. Job titles in this category include police officers, detectives and firefighters.

Alternatively, women had a high representation (73.2%) in Education, Training and Library Occupations, including jobs such as teachers and librarians, but experienced a wage gap of 76 cents to the dollar.

So, women looking to make a career change might want to consider the industry before they settle on what job to pursue. In addition, they should consider advancing their education. According to a 2017 working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, the increase of women in postsecondary education has helped to narrow the overall gender pay gap.

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