Diving into the Gender-Pay Gap
Two new reports released on International Equal Pay Day combine to paint an unflattering picture of employers’ efforts to achieve paycheck parity for men and women.
(For the record: The Equal Pay Act of 1963 “prohibits sex-based wage discrimination between men and women in the same establishment who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort and responsibility under similar working conditions,” according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act also makes it illegal to discriminate based on sex in pay and benefits. )
The first report, from salary-information provider Payscale, was based on survey information from more than 46,000 respondents, and it finds that women earn 77.9 cents for every dollar earned by men in 2017. This figure has moved only slightly from 2016—when women earned 76.3 cents for every dollar earned by men. (This is what’s known as the “uncontrolled pay gap,” which simply compares the salaries of all working women to all working men.)
What often gets lost in translation, according to the Payscale report, is what the uncontrolled gap truly represents—that women are less likely to hold high-level, high-paying jobs than men:
“Our data shows that at the start of their careers, men and women tend to work at similar level jobs, most often entering the workforce at the individual contributor level: 72 percent of men and 74 percent of women in the age group 20-29 are in individual contributor roles.
Over the course of their career, men move into higher level roles at significantly higher rates than women. By midcareer (age range 30-44), men are 70 percent more likely to be in VP or C-suite roles than women. By late career (age 45+), men are more 142 percent more likely to be in these higher paying roles.
On the flip side, women over the age of 30 are more likely than men to remain in individual contributor positions. By mid-career, 60 percent of women are in individual contributor positions vs. 52 percent of men. By late career, 59 percent of women are in still individual contributor positions vs. 43 percent of men.”
Meanwhile, a new report from HR analytics firm Visier finds that “the gender pay gap for workers under age 40 increased by 17 percent [in 2017],” when compared to 2016.