Study: Gender Wage Gap is a Myth, Women Just Take Different Jobs Than Men

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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A new survey challenges the famous statistic that women in the U.S. earn “only 72 percent as much as their male counterparts.” PayScale Incorporated’s Women at Work survey found that the gender gap is almost eliminated when they control occupation and experience among the most common jobs.

As noted by The Atlantic, with 40 million career profiles on, they were able to compile data and control for factors like education and type of work.

“Unequal pay for equal work? Not really. Women earn less than men on average because they often fill jobs with a large societal benefit, but small monetary benefit,” said PayScale lead economist Katie Bardaro.

However, the research did show that as women progress in their career the gap widens. At the executive level, the gender wage gap jumps from 2 percent to 9 percent.

"PayScale’s unique crowd sourced data show that women and men who share the same employment and education characteristics largely earn the same pay," Bardaro said. "However, this parity breaks down as women move up the career ladder. It is important to note, in the moment of Sheryl Sandberg’s new book Lean In, women in executive positions are lagging behind their male counterparts when it comes to pay."

In the era of the “Lean In” movement, which asks women to be more assertive in the work place to climb the corporate ladder, PayScale found women are already doing just that.

They found 32 percent of women and 29 percent of men have asked for a raise during their career, while 19 percent of women and 24 percent of men have asked for both a raise and a promotion. The likelihood of asking for a raise or promotion goes up among women as their job level increases.

“Instead of focusing the debate on the misbegotten gender wage gap, we should instead examine why women are absent from high-paying jobs and industries, like technology, engineering and executive positions,” Bardaro said.

Sources: The Atlantic,