Full-time working women in America earned only 82.2% of men's median weekly earnings last year, according to a new report by the Institute for Women's Policy Research, a think-tank in Washington, DC. Women earned less than men in almost all occupations. Only in the fields of "stock clerks and order fillers" and "bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks" did women make slightly more than their male counterparts. The gender wage gap (women’s earnings as a percentage of men’s) was most pronounced amongst CEOs and financial managers. Female chief executives earned only 69% as much as male bosses, reports The Economist who analyzed the findings.
The study reports that women’s median earnings are lower than men’s in nearly all occupations, whether they work in occupations predominantly done by women, occupations predominantly done by men, or occupations with a more even mix of men and women. During 2011, median weekly earnings for female full-time workers were $684, compared with $832 per week for men, a gender wage ratio of 82.2 percent. Added to the gender wage gap within occupations is the gender wage gap between occupations. Male-dominated occupations tend to pay more than female-dominated occupations at similar skill levels, particularly at higher levels of educational attainment. Tackling occupational segregation is an important part of tackling the gender wage gap, IWPR suggests:
“The gender wage gap and occupational segregation—men primarily working in occupations done by men, and women primarily working with other women—are persistent features of the U.S. labor market. Only four of the 20 most common occupations for men and the 20 most common occupations for women overlap. Four of ten women (39.5 percent) work in traditionally female occupations and between four and five of ten male workers (44.5 percent) work in traditionally male occupations; only 5.8 percent of women work in traditionally male occupations and only 4.6 percent of men in traditionally female occupations.”
Chart: The Economist