Women Still Earning Less than Men

A study recently released by the American Association of University Women found that women are still earning less than their male counterparts – despite the fact that women are pursuing higher education opportunities. According to the study, women that graduated in the 1999-2000 school year were earning 80% of the wages as men graduating during that same year. This isn’t much growth when compared to those that graduated in 1992-1993 and earned 69% of what men did.

Although this fact is discouraging, the study found that part of the reason for the discrepancy is the choices women make when choosing their majors. According to the study, women tended to select professions that pay lower wages. These career paths include working for non-profit organizations and in the education and psychology feels. On the other hand, men tend to select jobs within the business and engineering fields, both of which traditionally bring in a higher wage.

“The research asked a basic but important question: If a woman made the same choices as a man, would she earn the same pay? The answer is no.” - Catherine Hill, Co-author of study

Despite this fact, the study still found discrepancies in the amount of money women make versus the amount men make. In fact, the study found that, when taking occupation, education, children, and hours out of the equation, women were still paid less than 5% than men one year after graduating from college. After working for ten years, they earned 12% less than men. Over the lifetime of a woman, this amounts to losing out on $500,000. – as well as earning les in social security.

The study found that career paths in which women dominate, such as in education, the discrepancy is smaller than in other professions – though men still earn more pay. According to the researchers, there was always a discrepancy between the pay of women and men, no matter how they tried to look at the numbers. For this reason, Catherine Hill, co-author of the study, took her findings to a congressional committee.

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