Did you know that women are earning higher wages than ever before? While there are still some disparities between men’s and women’s wages, this is the smallest wage gap that has ever existed.
So what is causing this change? And what can we do to continue to close the wage gap? Here are some reasons why women are earning more money than ever before.
The rise in women’s pay
In recent years, there’s been an overall increase in women’s pay in the workforce. The rise in women’s wages has been attributed to an increasing number of women in high-skill jobs, with women’s pay in these industries rising by 58 percent. But despite this increase, according to a Pew Research report, women still earn 84 percent of what men earn.
Some of the factors that contribute to historically lower women’s pay are that women are more likely than men to work part-time — 63 percent of part-time workers are women. However, this has not had as significant an impact on the overall wage gap as other factors, like the fact that women account for 75 percent of the workers in some of the lowest-paying jobs.
At the same time, other factors are helping to increase pay, like the increase in the level of education. Women now represent 52 percent of the college-educated workforce and 29 percent of the STEM workforce. This higher level of education has helped to close the wage gap between men and women.
Top paying industries for women
The industries that boast the highest-earning women are largely in the field of healthcare. For instance, women make up nearly 80 percent of nurses and earn a median wage of $75,330 each year. This position continues to be in high demand, especially as healthcare workers leave positions vacant in the wake of the pandemic. Similarly, women occupy many of the top spots in other healthcare-related industries. For example, they make up 85 percent of dental assistants and earn a median wage of $41,180 per year.
There has been a growing demand for women in the tech industry, especially as companies are focused more on diversity and inclusion. In addition, the tech industry is constantly evolving, making it an ideal choice for women looking for an exciting and challenging career. The median wage in the tech industry varies but tops six figures annually in multiple positions, and women make up around one-third of positions in tech globally.
Similarly, DEI initiatives are also increasing the number of women in the finance industry. Recent statistics presented by Deloitte show that the number of women in finance has grown from 22 to 24 percent. The median wage for the finance industry is $96,528 and makes up 53 percent of the entry-level bank force.
However, another factor contributing to the increase in women’s wages is that women account for a disproportionate amount of the workers in lower-wage service-sector jobs like personal care and food preparation, which were significantly impacted by the pandemic. As these industries rebound, many have struggled to find employees, which has lifted pay in these areas, helping women who may traditionally face barriers to employment.
As the economy continues to recover from the pandemic, so far, women’s pay is improving. Many factors are contributing to the shrinking wage gap, but work doesn’t stop here. For companies and industries that continue to prioritize and promote diversity and inclusion, we will see an increase in women’s pay over time, especially in underrepresented industries.