The issue of equal pay for equal work in Hollywood and Silicon Valley has gained national attention recently, in part due to the #MeToo movement. The groundswell has provided the spark for industries to re-examine the treatment and compensation of women in the workplace.
The unpleasant truth is that the gender wage gap isn’t limited to entertainment or tech professions — it spans nearly all occupations. Even in female-dominated occupations, men still make more money.
Click to see the few jobs in which women earn more than men.
In 2016, the median wage for women was $40,675, more than $10,000 less than the $50,741 median for men, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Since the Equal Pay Act of 1963 was established to prohibit wage discrimination based on sex, there’s been progress. But there’s still room to narrow the margin.
The industry where the gender wage gap is the widest is financial services. Ironically, the very industry designed to set up individuals and companies for financial success doesn’t extend the same service to its female workers. Females earn 38 percent less than their male counterparts.
Second to financial services in the gender wage gap is the sales industry, in which females earn, on average, roughly 24 percent less than men, or about $11,000.
How Women Can Combat the Gender Pay Gap
The cumulative effect of pay inequality for women could mount to more than $1 million less than men in garnered wages over a 40-year career, according to the National Women’s Law Center. To bridge the wage gap — not only in finance and sales roles, but in every occupation — women can take the following actions:
- Speak up. Three in five women don’t negotiate their salaries, according to a Glassdoor survey.
- Do your homework. During salary negotiations or in anticipation of a raise, research comparable job salaries to appropriately define your salary requirements.
- Ask for what you want. If a hiring manager presents a salary that wasn’t what you were hoping for, ask about advancement and how quickly you can be eligible for a promotion.
- Know your worth. Be self-aware and focus on what you can provide to an employer.
Click to see states with the biggest — and smallest — gender pay gap.