Seasons Changing

Is The Season Of The Gender Pay Gap Almost Over? Which Industries Are Closing The Gap? Which Ones Aren’t?

Ah, autumn. Crisp breezes carrying the scent of fresh baked apple pie slowly push out the wall of humidity summer had left behind. Pumpkins appear in produce aisles primed for carving and pies, and sweaters once forgotten are pulled out of closets along with a few cobwebs that need shaking off. Leaves change from greens to reds and golds, and suddenly, a new season is upon us.

At Rock The Street, Wall Street (RTSWS), a financial literacy nonprofit designed to spark the interest of high school girls into careers of finance, change is a topic that receives a lot of attention. However, RTSWS is not so much interested in the colors of the leaves or harvest moon hayrides (though we enjoy those things as much as the next girl), it is interested in change on a larger scale: A shift into an era where women are equally equally paid and equally investing their savings as their male counterparts and equally represented in the financial services industry as well.

Why is it paramount that these changes are made and made quickly? Because as of 2017, 41 percent of mothers are the breadwinners or co-breadwinners in their household. That number was 15.9 percent in 1967. It is more important than ever before that we teach our girls how to manage their money–and that means teaching them about savings, budgeting AND INVESTING, the part of personal finance that has been traditionally left to men for decades.

Girls in the RTSWS program learning about finance

So, with all that in mind, let’s look at which industries are signaling that things may be changing. Here are the five industries with the smallest pay gaps in the United States. (Click here to view the full report).

Editor’s note on the data we’re using: We choose to use the ‘uncontrolled’ gender wage gap data. Controlled data typically compares women and men who work the same position, with the same amount of experience. The reason we choose to use uncontrolled data is because we feel that controlled data does not take into account equality of opportunity. For example, “while technology does not have a good reputation for being female-friendly, it has the smallest controlled pay gap of any industry. However, there is a large difference between the controlled and uncontrolled gender pay gap in technology. Among other things, this is indicative of the fact that women and men do not have the same jobs within tech.”

Smallest Pay Gap: Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation

The arts, entertainment, and recreation industry has the smallest gender pay gap

The industry that often makes the most noise about the need for equal pay–arts, entertainment and recreation–is also the industry that has the most equal pay in this country. While this is definitely worth applauding, it is worth mentioning that even in this industry, women still only make $0.91 for every $1 their male counterparts make.

Second Smallest Gap: Real Estate

With nearly a 50/50 split between the amount of men and women in real estate, it is a good sign that it has one of the smaller gender pay gaps. At $0.90 for every $1 men earn, the real estate industry has the second smallest gender pay gap.

Third Smallest Gap: Education

With a whopping 68% of America’s education workforce being women, one would hope that women are paid an equal wage. Education does have the third smallest gender wage gap of any industry, though women still only make $0.88 for every $1 that men make in the industry.

Fourth Smallest Gap: Accomodation and Food Services

The accommodation and food services industry is actually tied with the education industry for the third smallest gap, with women making $0.88 for every $1 that men make.

Fifth Smallest Gap: Tech

The fifth smallest gap comes in tech, which is a bit of a surprise. Men dominate the tech industry, making up 72% of the workforce, with only 28% of the workforce being occupied by women. However, the gender wage gap in tech is $0.87 per $1.

Those are the five industries with the smallest gender pay gaps. While each still has a gender pay gap, they deserve credit for working to pay their employees fairly, something many industries have not done, or not done nearly enough. Here are five of the industries that still have the largest gender pay gaps.

Largest Gender Pay Gap: Finance & Insurance

In the finance and insurance industry, women make an extremely disappointing $0.74 for every $1 a man makes. This gap is six cents larger than the next closest gap, and shows that the financial services industry is still lagging way behind the rest of the country when it comes to pay equality.

Second Largest Pay Gap: Agencies and Consultancies

In the agencies and consultancies industry, women make $0.80 for every $1 that men make. This gap exists despite the fact that there are actually more women in this industry than men.

Third Largest Pay Gap: Retail & Customer Service

At $0.81 per $1, retail and customer service has the third largest gender pay gap. 

Fourth Largest Pay Gap: Energy and Utilities

The energy and utilities industry has the fourth highest wage gap, with women making $0.82 for every $1 men make. Energy and utilities are also the second most male dominated workforce, with women making up only 19% of the workforce (construction has the smallest, with only 10% of its workforce being female).

Fifth Largest Pay Gap: Health Care

The healthcare industry has the fifth largest gender pay gap, with women earning $0.82 for every $1 men make. This occurs despite the fact that women make up over 75% of the healthcare workforce, making it the most female dominated industry on the list.

More About Finance

In full disclosure, we wrote this article to cover all industries, not knowing which industries would have better or worse gender wage gaps. However, the fact that finance as an industry has a gender wage gap that is significantly larger than every other industry shows why Rock The Street, Wall Street has made it its mission to transform the financial services industry.

After all, women make up only 2.5 percent of Hedge Fund Managers, 8 percent of Venture Capital Partners, 9 percent of Mutual Fund Managers, and 11.7 percent of Sr. Private Equity Professionals.

And we’re not the ones to sit on our hands and do nothing over here. We believe that by inspiring young women to pursue finance as a career, we are increasing the pipeline of talented women who will eventually rise to those ranks. Further, by having the financial industry take ownership of the problem by sponsoring RTSWS programs, we are playing an active role in getting more and more financial firms to reevaluate their own hiring practices and workplace cultures.

And that is the type of change that we are excited about.