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Pay Gap Persists in Female-Dominated Career Fields (April 17, 2012)

By Danielle Kurtzleben
US News and World Report

"Tuesday marked Equal Pay Day, a day established in 1996 to symbolize how long it takes women to earn the same wages that men earned last year. However, a new study shows that the concept the day was founded on hasn't yet caught on, even in fields where women are a majority of the workforce.

According to a study done by the Institute for Women's Policy Research, among the 20 most popular occupations for women workers, they only out-earn men in one field: bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks. Among secretaries and administrative assistants, women make up 96 percent of workers but earn 86 percent as much as men. Likewise, women account for 85 percent of maids and housekeepers and make only 83 percent of what men in that profession earn. A majority of financial managers are women—54.3 percent—but they earn only about 66 percent of what men in that occupation make.

"Women are less likely to be hired into the most lucrative jobs, and—when they work side by side with men—they may get hired at a lower rate and receive lower pay increases over the years," says Ariana Hegewisch, study director at the Institute for Women's Policy Research and one of the study's co-authors."

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