GAO: Female managers get 81 cents to male dollar

By Reuters
Posted Sep. 28, 2010 at 6:10 a.m.

Women managers in the United States are paid 81 cents for every dollar earned by male managers, according to a government report released Tuesday.

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.

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  1. john Sep. 28, 2010 at 9:09 a.m.

    Statistics don’t lie, but liars use statistics.

    It’s all about how you crunch the data. The Dept of Labor did a study in 2008 showing that the “wage gap” so commonly used is actually really only 5% when all the factors are considered.

    And as for the “not making any progress” comment by the ignorant politician, they must have missed this:

  2. 007 Sep. 28, 2010 at 9:38 a.m.

    Oh Lord, here we go again.

    I’m making $15,000 less than I was in 2003. It’s called a bad economy, stupid.

    As for the whole “oh woe is me, I’m a poor opressed woman” drivel, when you work like a man you get paid like one. I’ve worked with many woman who could work me under the table and they got compensated for it. The current crop of women I work with are more interested in planning long lunches and calling family and friends during the day (and I get to hear all of this because I can’t wear an iPod due to departmental rules). Given the lack of output, they’re lucky they’re only behind 11-cents — if they even really are as underpaid as they claim.

  3. 007 Sep. 28, 2010 at 9:39 a.m.

    Darn typo, I meant 19-cents. Fire me.

  4. Metoo Sep. 28, 2010 at 9:48 a.m.

    oh my, here we go with the female bashing. I worked 15+ years as a manager and always made less than my male peers. I was a working mom – did I work as many hours as my male counterparts? Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Did I take a couple months off for birthing the babies? Yep. But you know what, you guys with attitude, my RESULTS were consistently better than those of my male peers. IMHO managers should be paid for RESULTS. There are good female managers and bad female managers. There are also good male managers and bad male managers. The point is that you should be rewarded for the amount of responsibility you have, as well as the results you produce. Nothing else should factor in.

  5. DILLIGAFF Sep. 28, 2010 at 9:51 a.m.

    Simply speaking, this is just more of the “life is so unfair” BMW – bitching, moaning, whining.

    Logically speaking, this is a manipulation of the logical fallacy *** hoc ergo propter hoc – correlation proves causation.

  6. Jason Sep. 28, 2010 at 10:00 a.m.

    Metoo – Quite a bit can be explained based on attitude. Male workers are much more aggressive when it comes to pay and promotions. Women on average:

    - ask for 30% less money

    - are eight times less likely to negotiate starting salary

    - are 85% less likely to request promotions or raises

    Businesses are for profit enterprise. If an employee will do the work, at the pay you offer, then that’s the pay the employee will get.

  7. Banderman Sep. 28, 2010 at 10:12 a.m.

    I hope women rapidly receive equal pay for equal work. When that occurs, women can then finally be held to the same standard as men in criminal and civil court; for now the notion of gender equality is a sham; women receive 100,000 times more free programs, free support, and free perks than men have ever received, yet they continue to whine, ad nauseam. Further, when women receive this pay, the very next time a woman demands help with her job or says something like ‘can you help me carry these boxes’ (which is part and parcel a part of her job; tell her to get on the bike. The days of wine and roses should have ended decades ago for women; they continue to get their cake and eat it, too.

  8. joanne cleaver Sep. 28, 2010 at 11:02 a.m.

    Smart commentary at Bnet about women in business & the nuances of the pay gap. Yes, I write it.;load-section-river

  9. Piggy Sep. 28, 2010 at 11:11 a.m.

    Do these studies ever factor in cost of benefits? The article mentions nothing about it. Women generally have a higher cost of health care, so for an employer that provides health benefits to its employees, a disproportionate amount of health care costs go towards women. So women should be careful what they wish for. If you demand and get pay that is equal to men, it doesn’t mean you’ll actually get a raise. It means either men will get a pay cut, or womens benefits will be cut.

  10. DJ Sep. 28, 2010 at 11:49 a.m.

    But you don’t see improvements to the inequalities in family court. Women can do the same job as men and get paid the same, but you don’t see many men getting custody of kids.

  11. Innocent_III Sep. 28, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Then again, single women whose educational and work-history pattern resemble single men’s earn similar amounts of money — varying, depending on age bracket, from 93 per cent to 106 per cent of what men make.

    Which pretty much says, the issue is not (as implied) an issue of women being underpaid for the same work, and the same amount of work, as men.

    But, you knew that. Didn’t you?

  12. Mick Sep. 28, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    What a crock. All of the women, I’ve worked with made the same or more then I do and they are always having to take time off because of some drama they created for themselves.

  13. Sleepless in Chicago Sep. 28, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Here we go again talking about how women are NOT paid equally compared to men!! This is a fiery topic that gets everyone hot under the collar!

    How come no one talks or brings up the fact that male models make a lot less than female models? How come no one talks about the inequality of prison sentences for men vs women?

    What about the huge discrepancey in compensation and child custody awards of men vs women in a divorce cases??

    How come men reporters cannot interview women atheletes in the locker room but women reporters have full access to male atheletes in their locker rooms??

    I am so sick and tired of the crap that men have to put up with in the US today!! Women love the double standards when it benefits them but start complaining and groaning when it doesn’t! GROW UP! Life is not fair nor equal!!

  14. jjrg7 Sep. 28, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Maybe the discreprencies are due to the fact that women tend to manage or obtain manager positions in lower paying fields. How many women baseball managers are there? I bet that manager position skews the average salary end of males quite heavily.

  15. lolo Sep. 28, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    There are lots of reasons for the disparity, though I do not expect liberal bureaucrats to put much intellectual horsepower into exploring these things. Studies have shown women value flexibility over pay, negiotiate less, exit/re-enter the workplace more; single, young women often make more than men according to a recent study. NYT did a good job discussing this-

  16. duh Sep. 28, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    if you dudes are soooo busy at work, why are you writing comments on the internet?

    Maybe it’s your “time of the day”

  17. Rance St. Ambrose, IV Sep. 28, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Stats don’t lie? If you had one leg in a hot oven, and the other in a big bucket of ice; statisticly you’d be perfectly cormfortable.

    If they gave back the 81 cents, and stayed home with their kids they would be better off, and the rest of us would not have to listen to them whine.

  18. Catmandu Sep. 29, 2010 at 7:31 a.m.

    Wow, you guys really have some strong resentments against working women! Hope you don’t have any daughters or spouses – or at least that you don’t share your thoughts with them. It sounds like most of you would much happier in a previous century or another country where women have no rights or freedoms and are expected to just serve their men.

    As for me, I have a spouse that appreciates the wages I earn on behalf of our family and because we both have demanding jobs with long hours, we share equally in the responsibilities of taking care of our family and home. And I am fortunate to have a current job in which there is no wage disparity (at least not for my position). I have worked with and supervise many extremely competent women and men, but in terms of productivity, quality of work, meeting deadlines, and working as long and as hard as it takes to get the job done, overall the women outperform the men in my office.

  19. Pathos Sep. 29, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    It is rather sad that so many people still deny that this perennial problem exists. So easy to play the blame game — a woman who is not paid equally even though she is equally qualified, skilled and does the same work as men in her office and it’s her fault?? There’s a reason why these articles keep popping up, you think it would be obvious, pay inequity is still around whether some want to believe it or not.

  20. Really? Sep. 29, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Who knew?