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- Demand for female-dominated jobs – like nursing and teaching – is increasing, but women continue to get paid less than men, according to a new report from The New York Times.
- More American women than men have at least a bachelor’s degree in the first quarter of 2019, according to Pew Research Center.
- Yet women make less than men for every dollar. Pay for “pink-collar” jobs remain lower than traditionally male-dominated industries. Women still make up less than half of the overall workforce.
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The demand for female workers might be rising, but their pay isn’t.
College-educated women are working more than similarly educated men in the US for the first time ever, according to a Pew Research Center analysis. The analysis found that in the first quarter of 2019, at least 29.5 million working women have at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with 29.3 million men.
The increase is partially tied to the growth of female-dominated industries, like teaching and nursing, according to a new report from The New York Times.
Despite recent gains, women have long had less workforce participation overall. Women still make up less than half, or 46.7%, of the overall workforce, Pew found.
Why the expansion of female-dominated industries doesn’t help the gender pay gap
The recent data from the Times has implications for the gender pay gap. Workers with bachelor’s degrees earn around $20,000 more than those with less education. White men still earn $9,909 more annually than women – and even more compared to black and Latina women – but Pew predicts the growing number of college-educated women in the workforce could result in higher overall wages for women in the future.
One reason why women get paid less is because female-dominated industries overall don’t pay as much as male-dominated ones. Teachers, for instance, make 21% less than other jobs that require a bachelor’s degree, and about three out of every four educators are women.
Pay gaps between men and women persist even within female-dominated industries. Male registered nurses, for instance, make more than women RNs, and The New York Times cited a 2009 research study that found when women enter a job at high rates, pay for the job declines.
The increase in working college-educated women could also be linked to parents waiting to have kids. Women having babies in their 30s now outnumber the amount giving birth in their 20s, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. Other data indicates that millennial women simply cannot afford children, due to the ongoing fallout of the recession, increasing student-debt, and high cost of living.
On top of financial strain, working women also must tackle a gender divide at home: even when women manage to both work and have children, they still do the bulk of housework compared to men. Mothers spend 16 more hours a week on paid work than they did 50 years ago, yet four more hours a week on childcare.