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Gendered Wages

No one is going to argue that conditions for female employees haven’t improved in the nearly 94 years since women in the United States received the right to vote. They have improved. Things, though, still aren’t level. On average women make 80.9% of what their male counterparts receive. Further, the Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows the biggest and smallest pay gaps between men and women. So what are they? The answers may (or may not) surprise you.

Leading the list of the largest pay difference between the sexes are insurance sales agents. On average female insurance agents make only 62.5% compared to males. Female insurance sales agents aren’t the only ones facing a pay deficit. Many top earning professions report significant differences between the wages of their male and female employees. Finance, medicine, education, and marketing are just some of the fields which show high levels in wage discrimination.

So where does all this leave women in the workforce? While it does leave them ahead of their ancestors, there is still an obvious gender gap that needs to be bridged. Even among those professions which have the smallest pay gap, nine of the 11 still find women making a smaller percentage than men. There are a couple of surprises, however, in those professions which provide closer to equal wages amongst genders. For instance, many of the professions are, themselves, gendered stereotypically in society. It’s great to see security workers near the top of the equal pay list, given the predominance of male security guards in media representations. Paralegals, as well, are often depicted on film as being strictly female. The problem is that those jobs with the smallest wage gap tend to pay less than those with larger pay gaps. The article lists a number of possible causes for this, not all discrimination based.

Female job seekers: does it concern you that there still exists such a large discrepancy in wages? Is there anything you can do in your job search to help fight discrimination or tips for earning that equal pay? Let us know below.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by worldwaterweek

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Jen works as a Marketing Project Manager for a restaurant, a kitchen assistant for cooking classes, helps with database management, does some freelance writing, and more. She received her B.A. from the University of Maryland in Government & Politics in 2011. Currently, she resides in the Washington, D.C. area and is an avid sports fan.

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