The analysis reveals that women are paid half of the earnings of white men among the highest-paying occupations – with women of color making as low as 39 cents on every dollar.
Today, April 10, is equal pay day. But according to a new report released by NYC Comptroller Scott M. Stringer the question remains: When will equal pay for women actually become reality?
To understand the extent to which the gender wage gap exists within various professions, the report is based on 2016 U.S. Census Bureau data and compares the full-time earnings of men and women in nine common New York City occupations. The results show that white men are paid more on average than women in seven of the nine occupations which include financial managers, software developers, miscellaneous managers, marketing and sales managers, accountants, designers and retail sales supervisors.
“Women power New York City, but pay equity remains a far too distant promise and pay discrimination continues to be all too real. In every way, women contribute to the health and vitality of this city, but they face persistent barriers in every line of work,” said New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer. “The wage gaps this report reveals, particularly for women of color, are downright despicable, and they should serve as a clarion call for action.”
The comptroller’s report reveals that while women comprise nearly half of New York City’s total workforce and contribute almost $100 billion annually in earnings to the economy, they are paid half of the average earnings of white men among the highest-paying occupations – with women of color making as low as 39 cents on every dollar paid to a white man.
The difference in average earnings between women and men is largest among higher-paying occupations, including financial managers and software developers—jobs in which men have historically been overrepresented. Pay disparities among financial managers stretch close to $90,000 for white women and over $135,000 for women of color in comparison to their white male counterparts. Among software developers, the gender wage gap for white, Hispanic, Asian American and Pacific Islander women is 77 cents, 70 cents and 68 cents on every dollar paid to a white man.
The larger gender wage gap in occupations with more lucrative salaries has serious implications for women’s long-term economic security, as they will experience less wage growth and accumulate less wealth than men over their lifetimes.
The gender wage gap appears smaller in jobs traditionally associated with women, such as nurses and secretaries. However, the pay inequity persists for women of color, and the report finds that the racial pay gap among women even exceeds the gender wage gap in some cases. “It shows the need for a racial lens to be applied to all efforts to achieve gender equity,” Stringer states. “Because women – and especially women of color – are collectively being robbed of hundreds of thousands in potential earnings, every year.”
Still, the comptroller expresses hope that the wage gap will shrink in the coming years as New York State and New York City have continuously passed legislation to advance more equitable hiring and employment practices. But reality also shows that women make up more than 54.9 percent of the workforce of S&P 500 finance companies, yet they hold only 6.3 percent of CEO positions and occupy fewer than one-third of senior-level manager positions, a fact that is also true for the tech industry.
Until women have more representation in senior roles within these fields, they will continue to have disproportionately less earning power than men, Stringer concludes. To see the full report, go here.