March is women’s history month — to recognize the achievements of women everywhere, as well as to continue the work towards equality. While significant progress has been made in the United States, severe inequalities remain. For example, even though women make up nearly half of the U.S. workforce, and even after controlling for experience, education level, and age, men are paid more.
The gender pay gap differs widely across industries and specific occupations. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed female weekly earnings as a percentage of male weekly earnings in full-time wage and salary jobs using data from the Bureau of Labor statistics.
The 20 jobs with the lowest pay equity between men and women range from first-line supervisors of food preparation and serving workers, a job in which the typical woman earns 72.8% of male earnings, to personal financial advisors, a job in which women earn 55.6% of what men in the same job are paid. For reference, women across all such occupations earn 81.9% of male earnings.
The occupations with the widest gender pay gaps tend to be high paying jobs overall. The median weekly wage for 16 of the 20 jobs on this list is greater than the national median of $832 a week. Finance industry jobs, which are often among the highest paid in the country, are well represented on this list.
Researchers at the University of Chicago examined gender discrimination in the financial advisory industry. Not only are female employees at financial firms paid less than comparable male workers, but also according to the study, “When Harry Fired Sally: The Double Standard in Punishing Misconduct,” punishments for professional missteps are less forgiving for women than for men.
Compared to men in similar roles, women financial advisors are less likely to misstep, such misconduct is less costly, and female advisors are less likely to be repeat offenders. Yet, women in the industry are not only paid less, but report harsher punishments, and are less likely to be hired after being fired.
Gregor Matvos, associate professor of finance at the University of Chicago Booth school of business, is one of the authors on the study. In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Matvos noted that the harsher punishments for women in this industry can partially feed into the wage gap. “If you walk a tighter margin, any mistake you make will potentially lead to you losing the job, preventing you from progressing in your career path.”
The share of men and women in each occupation’s workforce also plays a role in the overall gender pay gap. Women are more represented in lower paying jobs. The share of female employees is lower than the nationwide average of 44.3% in 15 of the 20 highest paying jobs. At the same time, women are disproportionately represented in 14 of the 20 lowest paying full-time jobs.
Research has shown females often face greater gender discrimination in male-dominated work environments. Yet, occupations in which women comprise a majority of the workforce are not immune to gross pay disparities. Women are the majority in nine of the 20 most unequal paying jobs for women.
To determine the worst paying jobs for women, 24/7 Wall St. compared median weekly wages of men and women for 2016 in 120 full-time occupations from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, a program sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The worst paying jobs for women are the occupations where women earn the least compared to men in the same jobs. Total employment figures, the percentage of men and women in each occupation, and educational requirements also came from the BLS. We also considered inflation-adjusted median weekly wages and employment figures for each year from 2007 through 2016 from the CPS. Estimated annual compensation was calculated by multiplying the median weekly wage by 52.
These are the worst paying jobs for women.