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Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

What are the reasons behind the gender pay gap?

Gigi Douban Mar 23, 2016
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Computer programming has one of the highest wage gaps among the fields studied in a new Glassdoor report. 
Image via Startup Stock Photos

The jobs and salary comparison site Glassdoor released a study Wednesday looking at some of the more nuanced patterns behind the gender pay gap. On average, for every dollar men earn, women earn 76 cents. But there’s a lot of variation there. According to the study, it’s not education or experience that’s the main driver between men and women’s pay. It’s the occupation one chooses.

Computer programmers, chefs and dentists were the occupations that had the highest wage gaps, according to Glassdoor.

“As a general rule, we do find the largest pay gaps in occupations that are heavily dominated by men,” said Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor’s chief economist.

The biggest factor driving the pay gap today? “Men and women being systematically pushed into differently paying jobs and industries,” he said.

Social workers don’t make much, but women in the field don’t face much of a wage gap either. Anne York, who teaches economics at Meredith College, said there’s a reason women flock to these lower-paying jobs.

“Women value flexibility,” she said. “We kind of have to.” They’re tasked with doing more of the cooking and laundry.

In general, society doesn’t expect men to wrap up the work day in time to pick up the kids. So, they tend to go for jobs with the highest pay and the most demanding hours.

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