Gender pay gap
Gender equality in the workplace includes equal pay for equal work.
Equal pay for women is a hot topic, and unfortunately, the gender wage gap is still alive. According to Pew Research, women’s earnings were 83% of men’s in 2015. When figuring out how much do women make compared to men, it's helpful to know which jobs are the worst for gender pay inequality. Online salary database PayScale.com ran the numbers to find out.
Controlling for factors such as experience and education, PayScale discovered that certain jobs show a larger difference in pay between men and women. The differences in pay between the genders -- with men outearning women -- are largest in the following five jobs.
1. Sales Consultant
Difference in Pay: 27%
Women represent 55% of the workers in this profession, but men still rake in 27% more in salary. PayScale lead analyst Katie Bardaro consistently observes large pay differences between the genders for many nonretail sales jobs.
“Sales jobs are unique in that they take a certain type of personality to be successful, and personality is something that is not easily measurable,” Bardaro says. “Therefore, our hypothesis on this large pay gap is the men in this position may have a more go-get-‘em type attitude that allows them to take home a bigger paycheck, regardless of whether they share the same educational background, skills and experience as their female counterparts.”
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2. Real Estate Broker
Difference in Pay: 23%
Here’s a job where you’d imagine women would thrive, but men make up 57% of the workforce and earn 23% more. Amy Tennery, managing editor of The Jane Dough, a Web site that examines the business world from a female point of view, says that real estate is regularly named among the most discriminatory fields for women.
One factor that may cause this large pay difference is the number of hours worked, Bardaro says. “Although we control for typical work week for hourly workers, we do not currently capture whether salaried workers work above and beyond the typical 40 hours a week,” she says. “Therefore, it is possible that male real estate brokers are putting in those extra hours to seal the deal, which brings in higher commissions and thus more pay.”
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3. Recruiting Director
Difference in Pay: 20%
Women account for 62% of these professionals who work closely with the human resources department to search for suitable employees. However, women earn a full 20 percent less on average than their male counterparts.
“This is baffling, particularly when you consider how valuable it can be to attract a diverse recruiting team at a company,” Tennery says. “I think only recently corporations have caught on to this, so it could be that women are still climbing the ranks.”
Bardaro says this gap may be attributed to personality traits and putting in extra hours, an area where males may have more flexibility due to fewer responsibilities at home. “Even though in today’s society many families are taking a more balanced approach to raising children and household chores, women are still bearing the brunt of the work,” she says.
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4. Portfolio Manager
Difference in Pay: 15%
Men make up 74% of the workers in finance jobs and take home 15% more pay than women.
“The conventional wisdom for a long time was that high-risk, high-reward behavior was desirable among portfolio managers and financial workers -- and the stereotype was that men were more likely to engage in this kind of trading,” Tennery says. However, in the wake of the financial crash, risky trading and behavior is seen as a liability, and many of the “stereotypes about women’s cautiousness are playing to their advantage,” Tennery says. This is one pay disparity that Tennery says could legitimately change soon.
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5. Chief Executive Officer
Difference in Pay: 15%
Men monopolize this high-paying career, holding 79% of the positions and making 15% more than their female counterparts. CEOs should be fairly compensated for their grueling work schedules, but women fall behind when it comes to pay and representation in this job.
“This one hurts -- but it's all too true,” Tennery says. “Without a critical mass in the CEO field, it’s tough for women to lobby for equal pay.”
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Source: All gender ratio and pay difference information provided by online salary database PayScale.com. The percentage difference in median annual pay between genders was calculated by determining the characteristics of a typical female worker -- such as experience, education, company size, etc. -- and then comparing pay for male workers with the same characteristics. This method ensures an apples-to-apples comparison of pay between genders.