The gender pay gap is narrowing but other inequities remain, from leisure time to who gets jobs in the top paying fields. According to a new study from Pew Research, women are still underrepresented for the top paying jobs, which typically earn over $100,000 a year, compared to the average salary of $41,000. Here are highlights from the study:
- Women are underrepresented in nine out of 10 of the top paying jobs: The single exception is pharmacist, where women are 61% of the workforce. (However, the median salary for pharmacists is ranked eighth on the list.) On average, women make up 47% of the workforce but have only 35% of the jobs in the top paying industries.
- Engineering and piloting lag behind: The share of dentists has more than quadrupled since the 1980s (7% to 33%). The share of doctors has nearly tripled (13% to 38%), while lawyers have gone from 14% to 40%. However, women still make up less than 10% of sales engineers and geological engineers, and only 7% of pilots are women compared to 2% in the 1980s.
- The pipeline is improving: Women are gaining more advanced degrees. Currently, 52% of law degree recipients are women compared to 30% in 1980, while 50% of M.D.s are female compared to 23% in 1980, and 63% of pharmacy doctorates are women.
“Pharmacists are also the only occupation in the top 10 where women make up the majority. This could be because the field offers flexible work hours, a collaborative environment and family-friendly policies,” the study’s authors wrote.
According to the study, the highest-paying U.S. occupations in 2021 were:
- Chief executives and public administrators
- Physicists and astronomers
- Sales engineers
- Airplane pilots and navigators
- Petroleum, mining, and geological engineers