It seems hard to believe it's been over a year since Patricia Arquette's headline-grabbing Oscars speech (which is worth watching again, just to see Meryl Streep finger-pointing like she's at a baseball game.) Patricia, in a very rational and accurate way, pointed out it was time for women to have equal pay. Amid the flood of think pieces that followed (and dissected) her statement, Fortune released some facts on the issue based on 2015 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
I'll summarize: the gender pay gap has narrowed in recent decades, but it definitely still exists. And in 2015, the gap was worst in the following jobs. If you are currently in any of these positions, it might be time to have a chat with your boss.
- Personal financial advisors: 61.3%
- Physicians and surgeons: 62.2%
- Securities, commodities and financial service sales agents: 65.1%
- Financial managers: 67.4%
- First-line supervisors of housekeeping and janitorial workers: 69.4%
- Sales and related workers (all other): 70%
- First-line supervisors of production and operating workers: 70%
- Retails salespersons: 70.3%
- Other teachers and instructors: 70.5%
- Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers: 70.5%
- Marketing and sales managers: 70.8%
- HR managers: 71.2%
- Police and sheriff's patrol officers: 71.2%
- Production, planning and expediting clerks: 72.1%
- Bartenders: 72.4%
- HR workers: 72.6%
- Recreation and fitness workers: 72.8%
- Production workers (all other): 72.8%
- Real estate brokers and sales agents: 73.3%
It's interesting to note, as Fortune does, that these are a mix of blue- and white-collar jobs. I think this sort of negates the idea that the pay gap is due to women "choosing" lower-paid occupations. Debate around the reasons behind the data though, as Fortune says, "Is likely to rage on".
Overall, women earn 82.1 percent of what men do. That's a concerningly large difference. The article points out that, "The pay gap widens as women get older and enter the child-bearing years." There's a bright side, though (thank goodness): with each extra educational qualification, the boost to women's weekly takings, "significantly outpaced those of men." Go, girls.
Bonus info: Check out this 3-minute read on "Why Millennial Women Are Burning Out." Many of us aren't just getting paid less, we're also working harder. That doesn't feel like a good deal.