“Today, women can perform in all sorts of careers,” the voice-over promised us, the “Free to Be You and Me” generation, before showing us our job options:
Secretary, nurse, teacher, mother.
Our teacher spoke up. “Obviously, this is dated.”
We may have come a long way, baby, since then, but not long enough. A new study from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research compiling data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that men routinely out-earn women in the same jobs.
Even in traditionally female jobs, women still earn less than men. Here’s how much women earn as a percentage of what men earn in these careers:
Registered nurses: 95.7%
Elementary and middle school teachers: 91.3%
Nursing and home health aides: 88.8%
Social workers: 88.5%
Secretaries and administrative assistants: 86%
Maids and housekeeping cleaners: 82.9%
The T-shirt might read “Real Men Don’t Clean Toilets,” but when they do, they get paid more for it.
In traditionally male jobs, women earn an average of 82.2% of men’s earnings:
Software developers: 86.4%
Drivers and truck drivers: 71.8%
Chief executives: 69%
So much for April 17th’s “Equal Pay Day.” Reports Forbes:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, full-time working women earned 81 percent of what full-time working men earned in 2010 (the most recent data available), leaving a “gap” of 19 percent between the sexes. But that means to make up for that “under-payment,” women would have to work through March 10.
And yet, the Forbes article points out that the study doesn’t look at the same job in the same office or workplace, but rather, an average of incomes across various industries.
Forbes’ writer Carrie Lukas says that working mothers tend to trade higher pay for “more kid-friendly” positions, while working fathers tend to go for higher pay. She adds,
It’s a mistake to assume that “wage gap” statistics reflect on-the-job discrimination… American women aren’t the victims of a sexist economy.
Which sounds lovely until you read the headline: “New Study: Men Earn More than Women Within Nearly All the Most Common Occupations.”
So until we don’t need an Equal Pay Day, consider becoming a stock clerk or “order filler.” It’s the only career in the study where women out-earned men (by 3%.)