Contrary to the popular belief that the gender gap is almost closed, in terms of careers, new research says otherwise. Because, certainly, compared to about 50 years ago, many more women have entered the workplace and many women have pursued higher education, it is easy to make the assumption that more women are getting the top paying jobs.
We have already seen a lot of research that says that a lot of women do not get high salaries, even when they have comparable jobs to men, because they are less assertive when it comes to salary negotiations and also asking for increases in pay.
The research shows that women are well-represented, at times even overrepresented, in low-paying service jobs, such as those in the retail and hospitality industries, but men still secure the highest paid and most highly regarded careers.
Researchers specifically examined professions of law, medicine and science and engineering because not only are they some of the best-paid occupations in the service economy, but they are also historically male-dominated fields where women have made tremendous gains in education.
Mary Blair-Loy, the study’s lead author and founding director of the Center for Research on Gender in the Professions said researchers found that women are under represented in all three professions.
“They are rarest in the most powerful sectors and at the highest levels,” Blair-Loy and her co-authors wrote in the research.
The study discovered that women make up only 21 percent of scientists and engineers, while in the medical profession, women are only 34 percent of physicians, but 91 percent of registered nurses. The research found that in law firms, women make up 45 percent of associates, but only 15 percent of equity partners.
A significant gender pay gap continues to exist as well, with research showing that women working full-time earn only 81 percent of what men do.
“The momentum of movement toward income equality gained in the 1970s and 1980s has largely stagnated since the mid-1990s,” the study’s authors wrote.
The researchers also discovered that that the number of women earning advanced degrees that qualify them for these high-level professions in the first place have slightly declined since the mid-2000s.
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