Women still paid less in most jobs

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NEW YORK — Women who want to earn more on Wall Street than their male colleagues have one reliable option. They can set up a shoe-shine stand in Lower Manhattan.

Female personal care and service workers, which include butlers, valets, house sitters and shoe shiners, earned $1.02 for every $1 their male counterparts made in 2010, according to census data compiled by Bloomberg. That job category, which covers 38,210 full-time workers, was the only one of 265 major occupations where the median female salary exceeded the amount paid to men.

The six jobs with the largest gender gap in pay and at least 10,000 men and 10,000 women were in the Wall Street-heavy financial sector: insurance agents, managers, clerks, securities sales agents, personal advisers and other specialists. Advanced- degree professions proved no better predictors of equality. Female doctors made 63 cents for every $1 earned by male physicians and surgeons, the data show. Female chief executives earned 74 cents for every $1 made by male counterparts.

The Census Bureau figures underscore the lack of financial progress made in the generation since women began leaving the home and moving into the workforce in large numbers. While the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression initially hit women less severely, their median earnings still trailed men in 505 of 525 occupations tracked by the federal government.

“We don’t see the pay gap closing,” said Ilene Lang, the president and chief executive officer of Catalyst, a New York-based nonprofit advocacy group.

That isn’t to say the gap hasn’t narrowed as full-time female employees are now better educated, less likely to be married and more likely to delay childbirth. All those developments have helped shrink the median-pay disparity for all occupations to 77 cents for every $1 earned by men from 61 cents during the past 50 years, census figures show.

Women made up 57.6 percent of the labor force in the U.S. finance and insurance industries, according to an analysis published this month by Catalyst. Yet females constituted 3.7 percent of Fortune 500 chief executives and 18.3 percent of corporate-board directors, the study showed.

The financial sector pays women in the six major jobs with the biggest salary gap from 55 to 62 cents for every $1 made by men, according to the census.

Among occupations requiring advanced degrees, female lawyers, who reported annual median earnings of $97,964, made 78 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. Female university professors, with a median salary of $55,292, earned 80 cents for every dollar.


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