Gender vs. Pay: 10 Worst Industries for Women

by Aman Singh Das | April 18, 2011

Guess which companies continue to disfavor women in pay equity?

In a new study by 24/7 Wall Street, an online financial content provider, it turns out industries that have been the most sought-after by college graduates for a long time now, are the worst when it comes to gender and pay equity.

Compiled by data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Department of Labor, the Census Bureau, as well as Catalyst and The Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the list is worrying.

The list's bottom eight, while troubling, isn't the surprising portion of the list:

  • 10. Retail (Women’s Median Weekly Earnings: $504 / Men’s Median Weekly Earnings: $634) 
  • 9. Wholesale ($648 / $817)  
  • 8. Public Administration ($783 / $998)  
  • 7. Information ($756 / $997)  
  • 6. Utilities ($780 / $1,029)  
  • 5. Durable Goods ($655 / $875)  
  • 4. Nondurable goods ($577 / $782)  
  • 3. Health care and social assistance ($648 / $902)

The real worry begins when we reach the top two or the worst industries for median salaries by gender.

2. Professional and technical services

This sector includes accounting firms, law firms and technology companies. Notwithstanding that 57 percent of college graduates are women, men not only continue to outnumber women in these sectors, they also continue to make significantly higher salaries. In fact, women only make 65.9 percent of what their male colleagues take home.

According to 24/7 Wall Street:

    •Women’s Median Weekly Earnings: $872
    •Men’s Median Weekly Earnings: $1,324

 

1. Finance and insurance

Needless to say, this sector includes banking, credit card companies, insurance giants, investment banks and private equity. The worst offenders when it comes to gender equity in pay, women earn 62.2 percent of what their male counterparts make.

    •Women’s Median Weekly Earnings: $738
    •Men’s Median Weekly Earnings: $1,186

Earlier this year, I discussed The Sponsor Effect, a new study by the Center for Work/Life Policy that stressed the need for active career sponsorships for women in the workplace. Identifying the lack of movement among women between the marzipan layer and top management, the study emphasized that what women lack is advocacy from their peers and superiors.

Now this data serves the same headline, i.e., we have a problem. We have the data. We have the studies. We even have vocal advocates like 85 Broads and the Center who are working to raise the ante and address this disparity in all its forms (pay, leadership opportunities, etc.).

But do we have the solution?

Read more:
Why Qualified Women Don't Make it to Executive Leadership
5 Pitfalls That Keep Women From Corporate Leadership
4 Tips for Career Advancement According to Amex CEO Ken Chenault

24/7 Wall Street

Filed Under: CSR


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