Special Report

These 25 Highest-Paying Jobs for Women Still Pay Men More

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 is a federal law that prohibits pay discrimination on the basis of gender. The EPA is an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act and was enacted to rectify  pay inequity between men and women who perform the same job duties. As well-intentioned as that law is, the fight for gender pay equity in the workplace is an ongoing struggle. (These are the worst states for women.)

To determine the highest paying jobs for women, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the median wage for over 180 occupations with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey program. Occupations were ranked based on the median annual wage for full-time female workers in 2020. To determine the gender pay gap, we also reviewed median wages for full-time male workers in the same occupations in 2020, also from the BLS.

According to the website PayScale, the uncontrolled gender pay gap is 82 cents for every $1 men earn, and the controlled gender pay gap is 99 cents for every $1 that men earn. The controlled gender pay compares what women and men earn when all compensable factors are accounted for: job title, education, experience, industry, job level, and hours worked. This is equal pay for equal work and it should be zero. 

There are many reasons why women earn less than men, chief among them is the perception, sometimes unconsciously, that values women’s work less than man’s work. In addition, there is the so-called “motherhood penalty,” where women who return to work after having children incur a wage penalty. 

In addition, many of the fields where the majority of workers are female are low paying. Another reason often cited for the gender wage gap is the so-called glass ceiling, the invisible barrier in the workplace that prevents women from having access to higher up positions. (Here are the 16 metro areas where young women make more than men.)

The impact of COVID-19 has been a major factor on women’s employment. According to a study by the U.S. Census Bureau, in July 2020, one in five working-age adults said that the reason they were not working was because the pandemic had caused a disruption of child care arrangements. Of those not working, women were nearly three times as likely as men to not be employed because of child care demands.

Female workers occupy a higher percentage of eight of the 25 jobs on the list yet are still paid less than male workers. The job of medical scientist has the largest gender pay gap with women earning only 59.7% of what men earn in the field. In 13 of the 25 positions listed, female workers earn just 80% or more of what male workers earn, and they earn 90% or more in six. In the rest of the fields (12) female workers earn less than 80% of what male workers do.

Click here to see the 25 highest-paying jobs for women that still pay men more
Click here to see our detailed methodology

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