Women Outnumber Men in Professional Field But Earn Half the Pay

May 3, 2012 - 2:54 PM
Unemployment Benefits

FILE - Martina Ryberg, right, of Plymouth State University talks with Tara Rossetti of On Call International during a job fair for college students on April 4, 2012 in Manchester, N.H. The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell to a four-year low last week, as layoffs slow and the job market strengthens. The Labor Department says weekly unemployment benefit applications dropped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 357,000. That's the fewest since April 2008. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

(CNSNews.com) – Women outpaced men in professional and related fields in 2010, but earned almost half the pay, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

BLS found that 29.3 percent of women were employed full-time in professional and related fields in 2010, compared to 19 percent of men.

However, under the category of management, professional and related occupation, women earned $669 a week in full-time wages and salaries, compared to $1,256 for men – almost twice what women earned in the same field.

In management, business, and financial operations, 16 percent of women were employed, compared to 15.5 percent of men. According to BLS 2010 figures, women outnumbered men in the field of management, professional and related in 2010 – 20.1 million women employed to 19 million.

In the field of office and administrative support, 22.8 percent of women were employed full-time, compared to 6.9 percent of men.

In the service industry, 16 percent of women were employed, compared to 13.2 percent of men, but they received $120 less a week in full-time wages and salaries than men. Women earned $423 weekly, compared to $543 for men. Men outnumbered women – 7.3 million to 7.1 million.

In the category of sales and related, men slightly outpaced women – 9.2 percent to 9.1 percent – but they earned $139 more a week in full-time wages and salaries than women.

Women earned $597 a week, while men earned $736.

Conversely, 17.2 percent of men (9.5 million) were employed in the occupation of natural resources, construction, and maintenance in 2010, compared to 0.9 percent of women (406,000 women), and earned $189 more per week than women. Women employed in that field earned $537 weekly, compared to $726 for men.

Nineteen percent of men worked in the field of production, transportation and material moving, compared to 5.8 percent of women, and earned $167 more than women. Women earned $473 a week, compared to $640 weekly for men.

In sales and office occupations, 14.2 million women were employed, compared to 8.8 million men. In production, transportation, and material moving, 2.6 million women were employed, compared to 10.5 million men.

The position that paid the most in 2010 for both men and women was chief executive. Men earned $619 more than women in that position. Women earned a median of $1,598 weekly while men earned $2,217.

The number of women earning below minimum wage has increased under Obama’s watch. In 2008, 1.3 million women earned below minimum wage, and 196,000 women were paid minimum wage.

The number of women earning below minimum wage increased in 2009 to 1.6 million and the number of women who earned minimum wage increased to 612,000 that same year. In 2010, the number of women earning below minimum wage dipped slightly to 1.59 million, and the number of minimum wage-earning women increased dramatically, almost doubling to 1.15 million.

Men and women, who were represented by unions, earned more than their non-union represented counterparts.

Women represented by unions earned a median of $847 weekly compared to only $639 weekly for women not represented by unions. The trend was the same for men – those represented by unions earned even more - $964 weekly – compared to $789 weekly for those not represented by unions.