And, The Jobs With The Largest Pay Gap For Women Are…

Photographed by Julia Robbs.
What do female doctors, financial advisors, and bartenders have in common? They’re all making way less money than men for doing the same jobs. We know that women in this country still earn less than men, on average (because Beyoncé told us). But, the whole “77 cents to a dollar” thing is a lot more complicated than your boss handing out paychecks based on your XX chromosomes. A new report by 24/7 Wall Street analyzed 2014 earnings by gender and labor sector to shed a little more light on the wage-gap problem, and the findings are, well, depressing. Here are the top-10 worst jobs for women’s pay equality, according to the report, and the percentage of women’s median earnings in these fields compared to men’s:
10. Drivers/sales workers and truck drivers: 73.7% 9. Real estate brokers and sales agents: 73.3% 8. Bartenders: 72.4% 7. Human resource managers: 71.2% 6. Retail salespersons: 70.3% 5. Top executives: 70.0% 4. Financial managers: 67.4% 3. Securities, commodities, and financial-service sales agents: 65.1% 2. Physicians and surgeons: 62.2% 1. Personal financial advisors: 61.3%
The report offers a few possible explanations for pay gaps in these particular fields. In medicine, for instance, women doctors often choose specialties that require fewer hours. (However, when comparing female and male doctors who have both chosen higher-paying specialties, women still make less, so there’s that.) In finance, compensation packages often include commissions, bonuses, and merit pay, which have been shown to usually favor men. All this to say, the list exposes the fact that this equal-pay problem is really made up of a lot of different problems.
And, the pay gap is affecting women across the income spectrum, from top executives to retail workers. A closer look at bartending shows a particularly sad trend. In 2005, lady bartenders earned almost parity, 98.8 percent of what male drink-slingers made. But, in 2014, women pulled in a median $459 a week, while men pocketed $634. Will things ever change? “This further emphasizes the need to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, to update and strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963,” says Michele Leber, Chair of the National Committee on Pay Equality, which has been working for years to pass equal-pay legislation. So, if you want to help close the wage gap, write to your congressperson, and don’t forget to tip your bartenders — equally. (24/7 Wall Street)

More from Work & Money

R29 Original Series