Women in the United States earn close to 26 percent less for than men on average for the same work in all industries and across the country, a report released Thursday revealed.
The greatest disparity was between married men and single women with children, the latter being paid almost US$30,000 lower, the study says. Married mothers earned US$46,800 - more than US$20,000 lower than their male counterparts.
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"The gender pay gap is absolutely real," said Aubrey Bach, senior editorial manager of PayScale Inc., the online salary, benefits and compensation information company that compiled the report.
"Half or more of our workforce is made of women but we are still not progressing at the same level as men," she added.
Lack of progress is one of the stand out features of the report, which proves that women get promoted less often and earn less when they do. The statistics show that while a woman’s pay rises until she is 35-40 years old, when it then levels out at US$49,000, a man’s continues to rise until it peaks when he is 50-55 years old, earning US$75,000.
PayScale worked out the gender pay gap by analyzing data from a survey of 1.4 million fulltime workers. With an algorithm, it calculated an estimate of the controlled median pay for women by tweaking factors including experience, education, skills, company size and responsibility.
Whereas the widest pay disparity between genders was mining, quarrying and gas exploration industries, the smallest pay gap found in technology jobs, but where the ratio of men to women is 70 to 30 percent, like the science and engineering industries.
"If a woman can get into the tech industry and stay there it is a kind of a meritocracy," said Bach. "You are going to be paid equally. Unfortunately when you look at the demographic very few women go into the tech industry, especially in technical roles, which are the most highly paid.”
According to the report, men go into higher paying industries than women, who find themselves in service and welfare positions.
“A big reason for the gender pay gap is that men and women tend to work in different jobs. Men dominate higher paying jobs, engineering, construction mining, and women dominate jobs like teaching and social work," Bach explained.
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Other reasons for the discrepancy outlined by PayScale include the fact that women are less likely to negotiate their salaries, women prioritizing families, and an unconscious bias.
“Behavior that contributes to gender pay inequity is often the result of beliefs we don't even know we hold. We must become aware of these beliefs in order to correct subtle, discriminatory behavior and policy,” the study states.
But the story does not end at a gender pay gap: Latina women’s rights organizations pointed out last month that the disparity is exacerbated when race is taken into account.
Latina Equal Pay Day, marking the time it would take the average working Latina to catch up to what an average white, non-Latino man made in 2014, Mashable reports.
Latina women must work an extra 10 months to attain what an average white man makes in a year, losing US$25,177 per year.