Pay gap

As women take over male-dominated fields, the pay for those jobs drops

A woman looks at job listings. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Women have made enormous gains in the professional world in recent decades, becoming better educated than men, almost equal in terms of work experience, and dominant in fields that used to be filled primarily with men. But as women have moved into those fields, the pay for jobs that were once done by men has plummeted, according to new research.

Camp directors and park rangers, for instance, are now more likely to be women than men, a change that occurred between 1950 and 2000. But as women became dominant in the field, the average pay for those jobs dropped, according to a study by researchers at New York University, the University of Haifa in Israel, and the University of Pennsylvania. Similar numbers were found in the fields of design, housekeeping, and biology. Women’s median income now hovers around 20 percent below men’s median income. According to researcher Paula England of NYU, gender bias “sneaks into” decisions about a job’s importance and skill-level once women begin working in the field. “It’s not that women are always picking lesser things in terms of skill and importance,” England said. “It’s just that the employers are deciding to pay it less.”

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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