Charting the Gender Wage Gap

There's only one occupational group in the U.S. in which women out-earn men

Despite women's gains in the workplace in recent years, there is only one occupational group out of the hundreds reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in which women earn more than men (see chart) and a second in which they are paid equal wages. In virtually every job, women lag behind, in some cases badly. Physicians and surgeons, for example, made only 62% of their male counterparts’ salaries. Female CEOs, meanwhile, are paid about 70% of male chief executives' wages.

Several trends emerged when Fortune parsed the data on wage disparity between occupations. The careers with more women in them (teachers, nurses, information clerks), tend to offer closer to equal pay. In male-dominated jobs (police officers, clergy and truck drivers), the differences were more stark. And often, it's the high-paying jobs (lawyers, software developers, and civil engineers) that have many more male workers than female.

The charts below show some definitive evidence that when it comes to gender parity at work, we still have a very long way to go.

Women's salary as a percentage of men’s

Statistics displayed are for full-time workers only, age 16 and older, for occupations with at least 50,000 workers of both genders.

The gender wage gap is shrinking

On the face of it, the numbers are outrageous, but there are important caveats: wage differences narrow significantly, though not completely, when you look only at young women, who are less likely to have taken time off to start a family. And men tend to work longer hours than women in full-time jobs, according to BLS data, which affects the pay disparity. The gap has also fallen substantially — by a full 20 percentage points — since 1979, when women were paid only 62% of what men were.

But none of that means there's any excuse for female brokers or HR managers to be paid less than 80 cents for every dollar that a man makes for the same job. Other developed countries have narrowed the gap far faster than the U.S. has. And while we’re trending in the right direction, the pace of gains has actually slowed in recent years (see below chart). No matter how you look at it, 83 cents isn’t the same as a dollar.