7 Jobs Where a Woman’s Time and Experience Command Equal Pay
April 2 is Equal Pay Day—but don’t celebrate just yet. Equal Pay Day marks the day in the year women have to reach to make the same amount as men did during the course of the previous year. Measured by total earnings across 15 years, and accounting for time away from the workforce, women’s earnings were 49 percent of men’s earnings, on average. (And for women of color, the wage gap is much larger.) Theoretically, closing the pay gap by 2025 would lead to a 31 percent (or $28 trillion) increase in global gross domestic product.
Some places around the world have made better efforts than others to close this gap. In 2018, Iceland became the first country to pass a law requiring companies to demonstrate they pay fairly, irrespective of gender.
Comparatively, in a 2015 Global Gender Gap Report released by the World Economic Forum, the United States was ranked 28th out of 145 countries studied for equality between the sexes. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t spaces in the United States where women aren’t financially outperforming their male colleagues. Here’s a roundup of places where the premium put on women’s skills and work is valued equal to, or more than, men.
(Some) professional sports
More sports are moving toward gender equity in terms of professional payout. Winter sports, including alpine skiing, figure skating, and professional snowboarding, offer men and women equal prize money at world championship events, according to a BBC study. And in 2019, the PSA World Championships in squash split prize money equally for men and women.
Within the United States, tennis is making slow but steady strides. While more than 70 percent of professional male tennis players out earned female counterparts in 2018, major tournaments offer the same cash prizes to both male and female participants. And Serena Williams came in tied for 51st on the Forbes 100 Highest Paid Athletes List of 2017, demonstrating how her dominance of the game has led to financial success—even if she was the only female athlete to make the list.
Funeral directors/service managers
In the last 40 years, women have closed the gender gap in the business of death (the funeral services industry), going from 5 to 43 percent of funeral directors in that time. In 2017, 65 percent of mortuary science graduates were women—and that’s good news. Female funeral service managers and directors make, on average, 101.8 percent of their male counterparts’ salaries.
Unlike some of the other jobs on the list, proofreaders employ nearly equal amounts of men and women. However, women who work as proofreaders or copy markers make about 107 percent of what men doing the same job do, on average.
Although the media industry has historically been seen as a boy’s club, Nora Ephron would be proud to see more women working in the field today. Outside of proofreaders, women are starting to run the editorial world—according to the 2018 newsroom diversity survey from the American Society of News Editors, nearly 80 percent of newsrooms surveyed reported having a woman in one of the top three editorial positions.
Dietitians and nutritionists
Women dominate the related professions of dietitians and nutritionists, making up more than 90 percent of practitioners in the field. Women also make, on average, 101 percent of what male colleagues make. Even better, more than 50 percent of both male and female dietitians and nutritionists reported high job satisfaction.
Farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers
Think it’s cowboys raking in the big bucks on ranches and other agricultural endeavors? Think again—women who work as farmers, ranchers, or agricultural managers make a whopping 114 percent of what male counterparts make. There’s even an American National CattleWomen organization giving women in agriculture the chance to digitally network, stay up to date on relevant legislation, and take professional development courses related to all things beef. Yeehaw!
Construction and extraction
Women in construction and extraction are cleaning up. Women crane operators, for example, make up to 104 percent of what their male counterparts make and women who work in construction make the same as male colleagues. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics also found that women are severely underrepresented in construction, with an estimated 160,000 women working in the field versus nearly 6 million men.
Electrical and electronics engineers
Electrical and electronics engineering careers offer equal pay, with Monster.com reporting that men and women in the profession both earning median career salaries of $66,000. And mechanical and systems engineer job categories both have a slightly higher salary for women than men. So, if IT or testing, designing and maintaining electrical equipment, from computer chips to large buildings, sounds like your thing, there’s a good chance you’ll feel equitably valued in your career.
We still have quite a way to go in terms of gender equity across almost all professions. And it’s important to remember that even among women, there’s inequity—women of color face larger wage and achievement gaps than white female colleagues (in fact, the wage gap for women of color widened as recently as 2017). While there’s cause to celebrate those professions and arenas where women are equally valued, there’s still plenty of work to be done.