According to the American Association of University Women, female workers in the US lose out on an average of $500 billion every year because of the gender pay gap. This is also echoed everywhere across the world, with men earning more in most industries. However, it’s important to understand that the gender pay gap is a measure of inequality, and not necessarily discrimination. There are many reasons why the pay gap exists, and in order to close it, a lot has to change within modern society. Some industries will find it harder to close the gap, and occupational segregation will continue to be a problem.
Here are some of the worst industries for gender pay equality.
A largely male-dominated industry, finance has always seen male executives rise to the top. The same study by the American Association of University Women also tells us that the pay gap for financial manager specifically is around $19.6 billion (65 percent pay ratio). As industries such as FinTech develop, the gap may continue to be a problem as technology is another sector where there’s a huge imbalance in male and female workers.
To close the gap, it’s important for these industries to improve female worker training and work on ways to make the recruitment process and job specs more appealing to women.
Medicine & healthcare
For physicians and surgeons, the pay gap for men and women stands at $19.5 billion (71 percent pay ratio). The continued dominance of men in senior positions in hospitals is one of the main causes of the gender pay gap. Although this has narrowed in recent years, more has to be done to make sure the same opportunities for career growth and promotion are open to all genders, sexes and backgrounds.
This will rely on the successful promotion of respect, equality and diversity in order to change the culture in the workplace.
Women in sports are said to earn less than men because female sports doesn’t generate the same revenue as male sports. Realistically, this gap may never close if women’s sports isn’t promoted properly.
Despite this, female representation in sport is becoming more prominent in the spotlight. This year’s Women’s World Cup saw a record-breaking 28 million Brits tuning in to watch, showing signs that professional sports could be changing for women. The richest women in sport right now are tennis players such as Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Angelique Kerber, Simona Halep, Sloane Stephens, Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams. With footballer Alex Morgan, badminton star Pusarla V Sindhu, and golfer Ariya Jutanugarn also ranking in the top 20 list of high earners.
The same inequalities in sport apply to entertainment too. However, there is considerable discrimination within this industry, where actors and actresses doing the same job are on completely different pay grades. There have been a number of actresses who have fought for equal pay (and won), including Diane Keaton, Jessica Chastain, Charlize Theron, Emmy Rossum and Michelle Williams.
But even after a few female entertainers have put up a fight for fair pay against their male counterparts, there are still reports that men are earning millions more than their female co-stars.