Occupations With the Largest Gender Pay Gap

McLeod Brown
by McLeod Brown
Study - 7 months ago
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Good news for women throughout the country: The gender pay gap has closed significantly over the last four decades.

Bad news: There are still plenty of occupations that lack in equal pay.

This is especially true during the ages of 25 to 35 – the years when most women have children.

A recent article by the New York Times highlighted the fact that most women who bear children during these ages fail to ever close the pay gap between themselves and their husbands. In fact, the study found that women earn $12,600 less than men before children are born and $25,100 less afterwards.

We wanted to focus on what occupations are the main culprits of this outcome, so we delved a little further into the data.

One example of an extreme gender pay gap is that of transportation attendants. Male transportation attendants ages 25 to 35 earn an average of $33,130.

While that number by itself isn’t worthwhile, that’s nearly $20,000(!!!) more than what the average female transportation attendant of the same demographic earns ($13,716).

Here are some other occupations with large gender pay gaps.

Largest Pay Gap for Men

  1. Transportation Attendants – 141.5%
  2. Prepress Technicians – 124.9%
  3. Compacting Machine Workers – 105.6%
  4. Paper Goods Machine Workers – 99.8%
  5. Machinists – 87.8%
  6. Adhesive Bonding Machine Operators – 85.8%
  7. Graders and Sorters of Agricultural Products – 83.1%
  8. Model Makers, Metal and Plastic – 74.6%
  9. Communications Equipment Operators – 65.5%
  10. Financial Clerks – 62.7%

Summary of findings

  • Male transportation attendants, except for flight attendants, make an astounding 142% more than their female counterparts ($33,130 vs. $13,716)
  • Seven of the top ten positions where men make more than women fall under the manufacturing umbrella
  • Female economists and material moving worker positions earn on average 20% more than their male peers
  • Men make more than double that of women in three positions
    • Transportation attendants – 141.5%
    • Prepress Technicians – 124.9%
    • Compacting Machine Setters – 105.6%
  • Occupations where women are paid more than men display a strong STEM representation
    • Economists – 20.4%
    • Statistical Assistants – 9.4%
    • Atmospheric Scienetists – 8.2%
    • Chemists – 6.5%
    • Mathematicians, Statisticians – 5.7%

Just for kicks, we also wanted to analyze those occupations where women ages 25 to 35 experience a higher average pay than men.

How we did it

We analyzed data from the American Community Survey’s PUMS 2012-2016 database to see what occupations exhibit the largest pay gaps for full-time workers ages 25 to 35. To ensure accuracy, we only analyzed those occupation titles with over 1,000 workers for both men and women.

For this study specifically, we focused on percent pay gap for each position. We calculated the average pay for each position by gender. Then we subtracted the female average pay from the male average to find the pay gap.

Finally, the pay gap number was divided by the female average to provide the percent pay gap for men.

For example, the following is the data we used to find the percent pay gap for transportation attendants:

Male average income for the position: $33,130

Female average income: $13,716

Pay gap: $33,130 – $13,716 = $19,414

Percent pay gap for men: $19,414 / $13,716 = 1.415 or 141.5%

If the percent pay gap for men was a negative number, this meant that women actually experienced the benefit of an average pay increase for that position.

For conciseness, we whittled the occupations down to the top 20 positions that show pay favoritism for men and women each.