Even in High-Paying STEM Fields, Women Are Shortchanged

April 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.

pay gap in STEM-01 infographic

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.


woman; computer; computer science; tech; solving the equation

10 Ways to Get More Women into Engineering and Tech

There are things you can do differently in your daily life to get more women into engineering and tech!


Solving the Equation

Read more from our findings on women in engineering and computing, or download the full report.

"Would you like a 7% raise?" with cash on a serving tray.

Fight for Fair Pay

Changing the pay gap begins with you.

By:   |   April 14, 2015


  1. Jay See says:

    Yeah, that’s a bunch of nonsense and you know it. Also women nowadays can get high paying jobs without having to put in the work that men need to do in order to get similar positions. Take marketing for instance: men are required to have degrees or a very extensive amount of experience from the bottom up working crap jobs that pay not much more over the minimum wage. Meanwhile women can get cushy jobs at the company and move up within a year to higher titles like analyst (fancy name for proofreader) or quality assurance. They get paid a lot more than minimum wage and can put marketing under their resume. Then you have the average looking women doing little to no work “marketing” for a company by posing for photos with their products at various trade shows without knowing a goddamn thing other than what’s written on a spec sheet. A rather sizable chunk of young women are employed in these types of jobs nowadays and end up going into full fledged marketing and even consulting jobs not too long after and when speaking with one it is evident they do not belong there. Most of these women use the money they make to go on to get degrees while men are getting the “privilege” of going into debt for degrees in STEM related fields.

  2. […] I’m sure you will be completely shocked to find out there’s a wage gap, (here’s a second link because you can never read enough about how bullshit everything is) although it isn’t as high […]

  3. […] and math (STEM) jobs than ever, but women remain severely underrepresented. Studies show that men are paid more and hired more often in engineering and computing careers than equally qualified women. That means […]

  4. […] “… 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.” (source) […]

  5. […] that have elapsed since Mitchell’s fight for pay equality, the gender pay gap in STEM fields has been exposed countless times, and it remains a major handicap for aspiring women […]

  6. […] it didn’t stop there. Female and male science faculty members alike offered John a higher salary than they did Jennifer and were more willing to offer him mentoring […]

  7. […] che incide su questa scelta per il 30% delle donne è il salario ridotto, (in percentuale, l’87% di quello medio dei colleghi maschi per lo stesso settore) Le altre motivazioni riguardano il poco […]

Join the Conversation

You must be logged in to post a comment.