The gender pay gap is often oversimplified. Women, we’re told, earn between 76 cents to 79 cents for every dollar men earn.
But it all depends on what you do for a living.
On a job-by-job level the overall gender pay gap actually improves markedly when accounting for factors that determine an employee’s salary — such as experience and title — and even disappears completely in a handful of occupations.
But men still make more than women in most professions — considerably more in some occupations than others, according to a new study by the job search site Glassdoor.
The study, based on more than 500,000 salary reports from its users, compared the pay of men and women with the same job title, at similar companies, in the same state, with similar levels of education and experience.
Even after making this apples-to-apples comparison, though, women still get paid less, earning on average about 95 cents for every dollar their male colleagues were paid, according to Glassdoor.
What accounts for that nickel difference? It’s impossible to tell from the data, said Glassdoor chief economist Andrew Chamberlain. But he suggests several factors could be at play.
Some of the gap may stem from outright workplace bias. Some may be due to women too often negotiating smaller raises for themselves than men in similar jobs. And some may reflect job choice. For instance, a woman with young children may have a job with a title that reflects her seniority but opts to work at a company that pays somewhat less in exchange for more flexibility.
While a nickel’s difference may not seem huge, consider that the 95-cents-on-the-dollar pay gap is just an overall average. In many individual occupations, the gap is actually much, much wider.
Women who are computer programmers, chefs and dentists get the rawest deal, Glassdoor found. They earn 72 cents for every dollar men in those same positions earn.
Put another way, they make 28% less than their male colleagues.
On the flip side, there are some occupations — although still few and far between — in which men get paid less than women on average. But here’s the rub: Those positions don’t pay nearly as well as the jobs in which men draw top dollar, nor is the reverse pay gap anywhere as big as 28%.
Topping the list, for instance, are social workers. Women earn about $ 1.08 for every dollar a man earns. In other words, men earn about 8% less than their female peers.
The Glassdoor study also looked at the salary reports of their users in the broader context of 25 industries and found men earned more than women on average in each of them.
Top occupations where women earn the least relative to every dollar men in the same position make:
1. Computer programmer – 72 cents
2. Chef – 72 cents
3. Dentist – 72 cents
4. C-Suite – 72 cents
5. Psychologist – 73 cents
6. Pharmacist – 78 cents
7. CAD designer – 78 cents
8. Physician – 82 cents
9. Optician – 83 cents
10. Pilot – 84 cents
Top occupations where women earn more than every dollar their male peers make:
1. Social worker – $ 1.08
2. Merchandiser – $ 1.08
3. Research assistant – $ 1.07
4. Purchasing specialist – $ 1.06
5. Physician advisor – $ 1.02
6. Communications associate – $ 1.02
7. Social media – $ 1.02
8. Health educator – $ 1.01
9. Procurement – $ 1.01
10. Business coordinators and therapists – $ 1.01