Exploring the Gender Pay Gap

Filed in Featured, More Headlines by on December 4, 2015 4 Comments
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“The gender pay gap is real, but more complicated than you think,” reports an interesting new study of women’s and men’s wages conducted by PayScale.com, a provider of on-demand compensation data and software. The often-quoted wage statistic (which PayScale.com calls the “uncontrolled gender pay gap”) is that women earn 78 cents for every dollar a man earns. But that’s just the beginning, according to the new study, “Inside the Gender Pay Gap,” which examines the difference in median earnings of men and women by marital and family status, across industry, job family, degree level, generation, management status, job level, state, and metropolitan statistical area.

One finding is the gender pay gap is widest between Married Mothers and Married Fathers who say they “prioritize family over work obligations at least once a year.” No gap is found between single men and women without children who say they never prioritize family over work.

Women’s wages stop rising much earlier than men’s. PayScale finds that men’s wages rise until they are ages 50 to 55, with a median salary of $75,000. Women’s salaries stop rising when they are 35 to 40 and have a median of $49,000.

Balancing the “uncontrolled gender pay gap” referenced above, PayScale.com calculated a “controlled gender pay gap” that understands that men and women don’t just have different wages, they have different types of jobs. What’s the gap when women and men do the same work? “Our data scientists applied our proprietary algorithms to more than 1.4 million salary profiles to compare men and women working the same jobs and controlling for factors such as experience, location, hours worked, education, and more to calculate an ‘apples-to-apples’ analysis of pay equity,” the study reports. “When comparing like to like, we calculate a controlled gender pay gap of 2.7%. (Based on our database, the uncontrolled gender pay gap is 25.6 percent.) That means that women earn 2.7% less than men with similar characteristics working the same jobs.” In other words, the real pay gap is 74 cents on the dollar.

Additionally, that gap “widens as you climb the corporate ladder, that men get promoted faster than women, and that women report more negative feelings about job satisfaction, job stress, and communication with their employers.”

There is much more worth reading in Payscale.com’s “Inside the Gender Pay Gap” report. Share your experiences and opinions at GlassCeiling.com, your best resource for women determined to succeed in business.

Source: PayScale.com

Source: PayScale.com

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  • Snoop22

    This article, and the one they link too, both point out that the gender pay gap is almost non-existent when you make a “Controlled” comparison. Why would you ever brag about a statistic that doesn’t control for the variables?

  • Edgar Sanchez

    I concur with the other two comments. I have worked in software engineering in The United States Navy, community college (as a tutor and teacher), health care software, and other industries (over 25 years) and the one over-resounding truth is that women just don’t apply to engineering jobs in the numbers that men do. There is a big lie going around in America that everyone, regardless, of profession and skill should earn the same. I am a Venezuelan who gladly will tell you that when you equalize the pay scale between professions to “eliminate” poverty you create more poverty not less.

    I would also like to say that Money isn’t everything. For families with moms and dads (or whatever combination you choose) it is far more important to have a balance of roles in the home. If both Dad and Mom put their pay above the well-being of family as a whole then the family will just not work (child development is hampered). When did it become important to the family that both parents make the same amount? It doesn’t matter.

    Another thing, because of the over-saturation of men in software engineering women have a really easy time getting hired and making equal (or close to equal) pay even if their skills are far lower than their male counterparts. I know this from personal experience. So if you’re a woman thinking about a change in career PLEASE pick software engineering we are so desperate for you that you don’t even have to be amazing at it… you’ll get a job. It has been stated over and over that fields that have a healthy balance of female and male employees perform better and have a higher degree of success as a unit or team than when either are saturated by a single gender. I’ve only had the opportunity of seeing this once in my career it proved it for me. Ladies we need you!!!

  • G Sho

    There is a gender “job gap” and a gender “lifestyle choices gap,” which, between the two of them, are 100% responsible for the so-called gender pay gap. Your “proprietary algorithms” that calculate a 2.7% gap between men and women is NOT persuasive! If you want to make a case, then show all your data!

    I’m an engineer who graduated from college in the late 1980’s from one of the nation’s premier Universities. At the time, 51% of the overall student body was female, but there were only 5 women for every 20 men who pursued an engineering discipline. The company for whom I work goes to universities to recruit today, and at university job fairs we often find only one or two (and sometimes ZERO) women. The simple fact of the matter is that women today STILL choose to major in things that will NOT allow them to earn the same as men. There is nothing stopping women from pursing engineering, math, law, and medicine. Sadly, MANY women who have the smarts for these things simply choose not to pursue them, yet we still have these false narratives about gender pay gaps, where gender and only gender is the supposed cause behind the gap.

    I went to a top 5 MBA school in the early 1990’s. Out of a class size of 60, less than 10 were women. This is another example of why men are more competitive in the corporate world than women. People with advanced degrees tend to show better preparation in a given field then those without advanced degrees, and when those people tend to be men, they are going to advance more quickly.

    P.S.: What is the logic behind stating an apples to apples comparison supposedly reveals a 2.7% pay gap, and then conclude that the “real” pay gap is 74 cents on the dollar. If an apples to apples comparison *really* were 2.7%, then the logical conclusion is 97.3 cents on the dollar, NOT 74 cents!

  • TexasRedbud

    From your article, ” No gap is found between single men and women without children who say they never prioritize family over work.”
    So the ‘pay gap’ is more about commitment to family, than it is to a gender discrimination?