Men earn higher salaries than women for most common occupations

There is a gender wage gap between women and women in almost every common occupation, according to a new Institute for Women's Policy Research fact sheet.

In fact, the research shows that women only make 77 percent for every dollar earned annually by men and 82 percent of every dollar earned weekly. Women also have lower median earnings than men in all but one of the 20 most common occupations for women. Bookkeeping and auditing clerks account for the occupations where women and men have the same median earnings. For the 20 most common male occupations, stock clerks and order fillers represents the occupations where women earned more than men by 3 percent of median male earnings.

Women who are employed as property, real estate and community association managers see the largest gender earnings gap among all occupations. These women’s full-time weekly earnings in 2011 were only 61 percent of men in the same occupations for $728 compared to $1201 per week. Of the 20 most common occupations for women, financial managers experience the largest earnings gap at $991 compared to $1,504 for an earnings ratio of 65.9 percent while women who are chief executives see the largest earnings gap at $1,464 per week earned by women compared to $2,122 in the 20 most common occupations for men.

"These gender wage gaps are not about women choosing to work less than men – the analysis is comparing apples to apples, men and women who all work full time – and we see that across these 40 common occupations, men nearly always earn more than women," says Ariane Hegewisch, study director at IWPR. "Discrimination law cases provide us with some insights on the reasons that the wage gap persists: Women are less likely to be hired into the most lucrative jobs, and when they work side by side with men, they may get hired at a lower rate and receive lower pay increases over the years. Discrimination in who gets hired for the best jobs hits all women but particularly black and Hispanic women."

After an entire year of full-time work, three of the most common occupations for women and two for men have median weekly earnings that remain too low to keep a family of four above the poverty line. More than twice as many women as men as well as four out of 10 Hispanic women work in positions that pay poverty wages.

"It is shocking that important occupations, such as teaching assistants or nurses, psychiatric and home health aides, stressful and responsible jobs that are critical to the well-being of our society, are likely to leave a woman unable to support her family, even when she works full time and year round," says Dr. Heidi Hartmann, president of IWPR.

Based on an analysis of median weekly data among occupations for full-time workers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fact sheet is released each year by IWPR. The fact sheet outlines earnings among the gender wage gap in the 20 most common occupations for women and men and provides earnings data by sex, race and ethnicity across the seven major occupational sectors in the work force.


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