By Emily Crockett
First of all, researchers have found that about 40 percent of the gap can’t be explained by factors like occupation, education, or experience. Discrimination — whether it’s intentional or not, and whether it’s on a systemic level or an individual one — likely plays a role.
Second, even neutral-sounding factors like “occupation” and “education” actually work against women when it comes to income.
Research by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) has found that out of the 119 occupations that we have full-time weekly earnings data for, women face at least a 5 percent wage gap in 111 of them. Women make more than men in only four occupations.
Occupations dominated by women also pay substantially less than occupations dominated by men, and that lower pay affects both men and women. Workers in female-dominated occupations make just 66 percent of what workers in male-dominated occupations make — which is a lot worse than the 79-cent average gap.
More or better education doesn’t help. Women invest more in their educations, according to IWPR , but they get a worse return on that investment than men.