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The Jobs With The Biggest (And Smallest) Pay Gaps Between Men And Women

by Lam Thuy Vo
Feb 12, 2013

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Kathryn Gilles, a new registered nurse at Sutter Memorial Hospital, in Sacramento, Calif., puts information into a patient's chart under the supervision of her mentor, Eileen Anderson, R.N., BSN.

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Lam Thuy Vo

Women are paid significantly less, on average, than men — even when they're doing the same jobs. But the gap varies dramatically for workers in different jobs.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics sent us some data on how much women made in comparison to their male counterparts in hundreds of different jobs; here are the jobs where the wage gap is smallest, and those where the gap is biggest. The gap is based on comparisons of full-time workers.

Part of the gap in pay is driven by choices, even within single job categories. Among physicians, for example, women are more likely than men to choose lower-paid specialties (though this does not explain all of the pay gap among doctors).

And among all workers, women are more likely than men to take a significant time off from work to raise children, and they tend to be re-hired at lower wages than their counterparts who remained in the workforce.

But not all of the difference be explained by choices such as these. And some of the gap could be due to simple discrimination, Ana Llena-Nozal, an economist at the OECD, told me.

One other detail worth noting: The jobs where the gap is biggest pay more, on average, than the jobs where the gap is lowest. The average weekly pay is $1,087 for jobs where the gap is biggest, and $773 for jobs where the gap is smallest.

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