Women managers paid less than male counterparts

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Women managers in the United States are paid 81 cents for every dollar earned by male managers, according to a government report released on Tuesday.

A woman uses a smartphone to perform various tasks in New York in this September 25, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Natalie Behring

The 19-cent wage gap marks a slight narrowing from a study seven years earlier that showed women managers making 79 cents for each man’s dollar, said the report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The study compared U.S. Census Bureau data from 2000 to 2007.

“Little progress has been made since 2000,” said U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat who chairs the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, which was to hold a hearing on the report in Washington on Tuesday.

“Progress has been slow both when it comes to expanding women’s share of management positions and in cutting into the pay gap,” Maloney told Reuters ahead of the report’s release.

Women made up 40 percent of managers and 49 percent of non-managers in the 2007 work force, largely unchanged from 2000, the study said.

Having children was a major factor in gender pay differences, the study found.

Of managers with children, women earned 79 cents for every man’s dollar in 2007. Of managers without children, women earned 83 cents for every male manager’s dollar, it said.

Mothers of children under 18 comprised just 14 percent of managers and 17 percent of nominates, the 2007 study said.


The median salary for female managers in 2007 was $52,000, and the median salary for male managers was $75,000, it said.

The study looked at 13 industry sectors -- construction, manufacturing, information and communications, leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, public administration, retail trade, transportation and utilities, wholesale trade, health care and social assistance, educational services, financial activities and other services.

The sectors represent all industries except agriculture and mining, it said.

The pay gaps differed by industry, ranging from a 22-cent gap in construction to a 13-cent gap in public administration, it said.

As families’ primary breadwinners, female managers contributed 55 percent of household income and male managers contributed 75 percent, it said.

The study looked at 2000 through 2007 in an effort to factor out the role of the U.S. recession, beginning in 2008 when more men than women lost jobs, Maloney said.

In the recession, she said, “a woman’s paycheck became more important, so therefore when you discriminate against a woman, families’ economies are thinner and suffer.”

Maloney said she blamed some of the persistent wage gap on discrimination and on gender stereotypes.

The report said researchers have not agreed on reasons for the gap and said some differences could be explained by factors that are difficult to measure such as levels of responsibility, years of experience or discriminatory practices.

Editing by Bill Trott