Women paid less than men in almost all fields

Women earn less in all but 2 popular jobs

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Although more than two million women work as secretaries, the most popular profession for women, they only get 86 cents for every dollar a male secretary makes. (Source: Phil Hart/Flickr) Although more than two million women work as secretaries, the most popular profession for women, they only get 86 cents for every dollar a male secretary makes. (Source: Phil Hart/Flickr)

(RNN) - A recent study found that women are paid less than men in not just male-dominated fields, but also in female-dominated ones.

Using information from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, researchers with the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) found that in all but two of the 40 most common jobs for men and women, men in the same job made more money.

The findings were released as women around the country wear red in observance of Equal Pay Day, the day of the year when women's earnings finally catch up to their male counterparts from the previous year.

Red is meant to signify the day that women are finally "in the red."

The day was first celebrated in 1996 by the National Committee on Pay Equity.

"These gender wage gaps are not about women choosing to work less than men - the analysis is comparing apples to apples, men and women who all work full time," said Ariane Hegewisch, a study director at the IWPR.

The group examined the 20 most common jobs for full-time working women and found only one job category - bookkeepers and auditing clerks - where men and women were paid equally.

However, as financial managers, women make as little as 66 cents to every dollar a man makes.

More than 500,000 women work in that field, ranked the 17th most common profession for women.

Of the most popular jobs for men, women make 3 percent more than their male counterparts as stock clerks and order fillers. However, they also made as little as 69 cents to every dollar paid to men as chief executives.

To explain the trend, Hegewisch pointed to discrimination cases.

"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," she said.

Of the most popular jobs for women, only one had too few men to make a comparison. One-quarter of the most popular jobs for men had too few women in the field to make comparisons.

Wisconsin loses its equal pay law

On April 6, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker repealed the state's 2009 equal pay law, which made wage discrimination suits easier for women to bring to court.

Some critics have labeled equal pay another battlefield in the perceived Republican war against women, which was highly publicized as controversial abortion and women's health bills proliferated across the country.

Linda Meric, executive director of 9to5, the National Association of Working Women, said the move was just another example of officials "rolling back the clock on women's rights."

"In Wisconsin, legislators just repealed equal pay enforcement legislation, claiming that pay discrimination doesn't exist and making absurd assertions that money is more important to men than to women," she said, highlighting comments made by Wisconsin Sen. Glenn Grothman to the Daily Beast in early April.

The group has scheduled protests in California, Colorado, Georgia and Wisconsin to mark Equal Pay Day.

Women make 77 cents on the dollar

"In almost 50 years, the wage gap has only budged 18 cents," said Marcia D. Greenberger, co-president of the National Women's Law Center (NWLC). "When women are struggling to regain jobs in the recovery and families are relying increasingly on women's wages, it's especially critical to end the pay gap for women."

With women making an average of 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, the NWLC estimates that women make an average of $10,784 less than their male counterparts.

The group estimates the loss is enough to pay the median cost of rent and utilities for a year, with more than $1,000 to spare, or enough to feed a household of four for almost a year and a half with $300 left over.

The gap becomes even larger for women of color.

The group estimates black women are paid 62 cents to every male dollar, while Hispanic women make only 54 cents.

The sub-groups are all compared to the average wages of white, non-Hispanic men.

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