The gender wage gap refers to the difference in pay women and men receive. Despite having the same qualifications, positions and tasks, women tend to earn less money than men do. This discrepancy in payment is an example of gender discrimination in the workplace.
How prevalent is this practice and where does it happen the most? Forbes shared a study from PayScale that reveals the industries with the largest pay gaps between men and women. At the top of the list was finance and insurance, at just over 29 percent.
More industries with high wage gaps
Public administration was a full 3.5 percent lower (25.6), with professional, scientific and technical services just trailing behind. The rest of the list mostly comprised other occupations that men have traditionally dominated, such as mining and management. This characteristic may be playing a role in the pay gap. However, even the female-saturated health care and social assistance sectors came in fourth on the list.
Other revealing data from the study
In addition to uncovering the top 10 industries with the largest wage gaps, the study also found the following information:
- The states with the highest differences were Wyoming, Louisiana and Alabama. The lowest were in Vermont, Maine and Rhode Island.
- Women with postgraduate education were most likely to recognize gender inequity at their place of employment.
- Women with MBAs were more likely than their male counterparts to think their companies could do better at reducing gender discrimination.
Although women have experienced many career advancements, the reality is that there is still a way to go in eliminating unfair treatment based on gender.
What to do in this situation
What if someone knows or suspects that she is receiving less than her male colleagues even though she does the same work, is at the same level and has the same skills, or even more than they do? She may be able to pursue compensation from her employer. She should speak to an attorney to find out if she has a case.