Labor & Employment

How much less do women lawyers and judges earn than men?

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Women lawyers and judges earn about 82 percent of what their male counterparts make, reports The Upshot, a New York Times blog.

The data comes from Claudia Goldin, a Harvard University labor economist. She wrote a paper, “A Grand Gender Convergence: Its Last Chapter” (PDF), which was published this month in the American Economic Review.

The Upshot notes that lawmakers this month voted down the Paycheck Fairness Act, which to address male-female income disparity called for adding procedural protections to the Equal Pay Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The Republican National Committee in a memorandum stated that the legislation was “a desperate political ploy” from Democrats. According to the RNC, income disparity between genders is due to women and men working in different industries, with various experience levels.

“There’s a disparity not because female engineers are making less than male engineers at the same company with comparable experience,” the memo states. “The disparity exists because a female social worker makes less than a male engineer—just as a female engineer would out-earn a male social worker. The difference isn’t because of their genders; it’s because of their jobs.”

Women doctors and surgeons earn 71 percent what their male counterparts earn, according to Goldin’s research, and female accountants earn 76 percent of what male accountants make. Goldin maintains that workplace flexibility could help solve the problem.

“The gender gap in pay would be considerably reduced and might vanish altogether if firms did not have an incentive to disproportionately reward individuals who labored long hours and worked particular hours,” she wrote in the paper.

Looking for a profession with no gender differences in pay? Female human resources specialists earn 100 percent of what their male counterparts earn, according to Goldin’s research, as do advertising salespeople and dental hygienists.

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