PayScale Announces New Report On Salary: Women at Work: PayScale Redefines the Gender Wage Gap

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Report provides new data and insights into a long standing economic, societal and workplace issue.

PayScale, Inc. today announced Women at Work: PayScale Redefines the Gender Wage Gap. Based on an analysis of PayScale's 40 million career profiles, the report assesses the following themes and issues:

  •     Overall summary of PayScale’s gender data, showing that the wage gap isn’t as significant as Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data claims when data is controlled for all factors (education, type of work, etc.).
  •     Breakdown of gender pay and percentage of men vs. women working in key jobs. Basically, this outlines the fact that men still dominate higher-paying job types and it’s this discrepancy that helps explain the BLS data.
  •     Leadership – Various extrapolations of results of the survey bonus questions (answered by over 13,500 people) “Is your current boss male or female?” and “Have you ever had a female boss?”
  •     Negotiation/Leaning In – Various extrapolations of the survey bonus questions “Have you ever asked for a raise and/or promotion?” and “Have you ever negotiated your salary and/or benefits?”

“PayScale’s unique crowd sourced data show that women and men who share the same employment and education characteristics largely earn the same pay. However, this parity breaks down as women move up the career ladder. It is important to note, in the moment of Sheryl Sandberg’s new book Lean In, women in executive positions are lagging behind their male counterparts when it comes to pay. We hope this report provides inspiration for women to lean in to their careers in an effort to close this gap,” said Katie Bardaro, Lead Economist, PayScale.

Some highlights from the report are:

  •     As the level of one’s career increases, so too does the gender wage gap, even when controlling the male and female samples to be the same. At the individual contributor level, the controlled gender wage gap is only 2% (i.e., women earn 98% of men holding the same position), but at the executive level, the controlled gender wage gap is nearly 9%.
  •     Contrary to popular belief, women are asserting themselves and asking for raises and/or promotions at a rate similar to men. PayScale finds 32% of women and 29% of men have asked for a raise during their career, while 19% of women and 24% of men have asked for both a raise and a promotion.
  •     The likelihood of women asking for a raise and or a promotion increases with job level: 31% of female individual contributors have asked for a raise in their careers compared to 42% of female executives. The same pattern is also true for women negotiating a job offer for higher salary and or better benefits: 10% of female individual contributors negotiated for both higher salary and better benefits compared to 22% of female executives. The pattern holds true for men as well.
  •     The industries where women are mostly likely to negotiate a job offer for higher salary and or better benefits are female dominated industries: Health Care (75%; 79% female), Real Estate (63%; 61% female) and Educational Services (56%; 63% female).
  •     Eight out of the top 10 job families where women are most likely to negotiate for a higher salary and or better benefits are management positions (e.g., Engineering Managers, Chief Executives, PR Managers, etc.). The remaining two are Financial Examiners and Dental Hygienists, two job families dominated by women (65% and 98% respectively).

For more information on methodology, please go to:

Adds Bardaro: “Contrary to popular belief, the issue isn’t that women earn less than men (generally speaking). Instead the issue is women tend to choose different jobs than men. Women earn less on average because they often fill jobs with a large civic, quality of life, or community component but with small monetary benefit (e.g., nurses, social workers, teachers, etc.). Instead of focusing the debate on the age-old gender wage gap, we should instead examine why women are absent from high-paying jobs and industries (e.g., technology, engineering, executive positions, etc.).”

About PayScale

Creator of the largest database of individual compensation profiles in the world, PayScale, Inc. provides an immediate and precise snapshot of current market salaries to employees and employers through its online tools and software. PayScale's products are powered by innovative search and query algorithms that dynamically acquire, analyze and aggregate compensation information for millions of individuals in real time. Publisher of the quarterly PayScale Index™, PayScale's subscription software products for employers include PayScale MarketRate™ and PayScale Insight™. Among PayScale's 2,500 corporate customers are organizations small and large across industries including Mozilla, Tully’s Coffee, Clemson University and the United States Postal Service. For more information, visit

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