Even in High-Paying STEM Fields, Women Are ShortchangedApril 14, 2015
Gender pay discrimination isn’t a myth; it’s math. Our latest research shows that among full-time, year-round workers in 2013, women were paid 78 percent of what men were paid. A gender pay gap persists in nearly every industry — even the high-paying science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. Something’s got to give.
AAUW’s new research report, Solving the Equation: The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing, found that even in the two STEM fields with the most and highest-paying job opportunities, women face a pay gap.
An AAUW analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey data found that overall, women in computer and mathematical occupations were paid 87 percent of what their male counterparts were paid. And in engineering and architecture, women were typically paid 82 percent of what their male counterparts were paid, or about $65,000 annually, compared to $79,000 for men. It seems that entering a high-paying field like engineering or computing still does not protect women against the pay gap.
In addition, the pay gap only gets worse as women dedicate more time to their careers. According to one study, today’s women are even more achievement-oriented than men are, yet women’s paychecks tell a different story. One study, highlighted in Solving the Equation, found that potential employers were willing to offer male applicants a higher salary for a science lab manager position than they would offer to equally qualified female applicants.
There’s plenty we can do to help close the gender pay gap in STEM, and in all fields. Companies can conduct job audits to ensure fairness and make their salary levels transparent. Women can also advocate on their own behalf by honing their negotiation skills and increasing their knowledge of the job market. We can all urge Congress to move on the long-stalled Paycheck Fairness Act. And of course you can join AAUW, where we’ll keep focusing on achieving pay equity for women in all fields — however long it takes.
There are things you can do differently in your daily life to get more women into engineering and tech!
Read more from our findings on women in engineering and computing, or download the full report.
Changing the pay gap begins with you.