Source: Center on Education and the Workforce- Georgetown University
A recent report by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce examines pay inequity between men and women, despite significant advancements women have made in educational attainment and experience. As of 2015, women earned 57 percent of all bachelor’s degrees awarded, a considerable jump from 43 percent in 1970. Despite this progress, women are still compensated less, making only 81 cents for every dollar earned by a man.
The report notes that when pursuing degrees, women are more likely to choose fields and majors that are less lucrative than what men typically choose. For example, although women have higher representation in the engineering field (17 percent today compared to 1 percent in 1970), they are also more likely to major in environmental engineering, the lowest-paying engineering major within the field. Once earning their degree, women are also less likely to choose higher-paying occupations, even when they do choose higher-paying fields. This disparity results in men earning on average $1 million more than women over the course of their career.
In addition to discrimination, the report goes on to cite systemic bias, cultural bias, familial responsibility, and social cues that condition women to take on such responsibilities at the expense of their personal career aspirations. To address this, women need information and counseling regarding career options at an early age. Additionally, lucrative fields, like STEM, must work to attract more female talent and work to promote pay equity between the sexes.
To read the full report, please click here.