Occupational Segregation and the Gender Wage Gap


In addition to the gender wage gap (in which, during 2011, men earned 17.8% more in median weekly earnings than women), occupational segregation is also a continuing problem. According to a report published in April by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 39.5% of women work in conventionally female jobs and almost half of men (44.5%) work in conventionally male occupations. Only about 6 out of 100 women work in conventionally male jobs and only about 5 out of 100 men work in conventionally female jobs. Additionally, in 19 out of the 20 most common jobs for full-time women, men earn more. Women are twice more likely than their male counterparts to be employed in jobs with poverty wages, such as cashiers, waiters and waitresses, and maids and household cleaners, which are three of the most common jobs for women. The numbers become even more striking when examined by race. Latina women earn about $518 per week in median earnings, which is slightly over half of the median weekly earnings for white men. Black women earn more than Latina women, with median weekly earnings of about $595. Interestingly, the wage gaps between men and women are smaller among Latino and Black populations than they are for Asian and white populations, as illustrated by Table 2.
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