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PayScale Releases New Report: “Inside the Gender Pay Gap”

Study highlights that women suffer a greater pay gap the more they prioritize family compared to men who prioritize family just as often; Employers and employees both stand to benefit from a greater focus on pay transparency

Seattle – November 5, 2015 – PayScale, Inc., the world’s leading provider of on-demand compensation data and software, today announced its new report: Inside the Gender Pay Gap.

PayScale’s “Inside the Gender Pay Gap” report examines the difference in median earnings of men and women overall, as well as by marital and family status, across industry, job family, degree level, generation, management status, job level, state, and metropolitan statistical area. Using our proprietary compensation algorithm, we are able to estimate a controlled median pay for females by adjusting for outside compensable factors across gender (years of experience, education, company size, management responsibilities, skills, and more), and calculate the difference in pay between similar men and women working the same jobs. All data is collected from ~1.4 million full-time U.S. employees who successfully completed the PayScale Survey between July 2013 and July 2015.

“The new PayScale gender report is illuminating on many levels.  One surprising and significant takeaway is that the more often a woman tells us that she prioritizes home or family obligations over work, the larger the controlled gender pay gap becomes, even when compared to men with similar characteristics who say they prioritize home and family over work with the same frequency,” says Katie Bardaro, VP of Data Analytics and Lead Economist, PayScale.  “The largest pay gap exists between Married Mothers and Married Fathers who indicate that they prioritize family over work obligations at least once a year. However, we see no pay gap at all between single men and women without children who say they never prioritize home and family over work.”

The full report can be found here:

Highlights from PayScale’s “Inside The Gender Pay Gap” Report:

  1. The controlled and uncontrolled gender pay gap is higher between married men with children and married women with children than any other demographic.
  2. Married men earn the highest overall salaries ($67,900 for men with children; $60,800 for those without), and single moms have the lowest overall salaries, both uncontrolled ($38,200) and when controlled ($45,500) for all measured compensable factors (experience, job, etc.).
  3. Salaries continue to increase for men until they reach the age range of 50 – 55, with a median salary of $75,000; while salaries for women plateau much earlier, between the ages of 35 – 40, with a median salary of $49,000.
  4. Both the uncontrolled (20.7 percent) and controlled (1.4 percent) gender pay gaps in the tech industry are smaller than the pay gaps in other industries.  This holds true for the controlled pay gap at all job levels except at the executive level, where the controlled gender pay gap for the tech industry is slightly larger than in non-tech industries.
  5. There are 4 states (Alaska, Delaware, Michigan and Washington) in which the most relatively common job for men has a median income of over $100,000. There are no states in which the most relatively common job for women exceeds $77,000.
  6. More education doesn’t solve the gender pay gap. In fact, PhD holders have the highest controlled pay gap (5.1 percent), followed by MBA holders (4.7 percent), and MDs (4.6 percent).
  7. The overall controlled gender pay gap is largest for Gen Xers (3.6 percent) likely because more Gen Xers have young children, and we know the pay gap is largest between married men and women who have children, as stated above.
  8. Women are more likely to say that their job is meaningful and satisfying, but also more likely to say that their job is stressful. Women are also more likely to report that they are underemployed.
  9. Overall, men report that they prioritize home/family obligations over work obligations more frequently than women – 52% of men prioritize home/family over work at least 1-2 times per month vs. 46 percent of women. Executives (male and female) are more likely to say they prioritize home/family obligations over work obligations than workers in any other job level.
  10. Even though more women say they have professional role models within their organization, male workers see a greater salary benefit when they have such role models.
  11. Both men and women who have been recommended for leadership training earn more money than their counterparts who have not, but men see a greater pay increase than women.

The “Inside the Gender Pay Gap Report” also highlights and creates a strategic advantage for businesses that are attentive to issues of gender compensation equity and pay transparency. 

“We know from other studies that more diverse teams lead to better profitability for companies, so ensuring that your organization is inclusive and supportive across genders is just good business, said Lydia Frank, Senior Editorial Director, PayScale. “More and more companies are taking steps to address gender inequities in the workplace – from hiring to advancement to pay. And, the most successful organizations understand that using market data to drive pay decisions and being more transparent with your employees about your pay practices keeps everyone accountable and builds a healthier, more trusting work culture.”

For definitions and methodology, visit

About PayScale

Cloud software, crowdsourced data and unique algorithms power the world’s largest real-time database of rich salary profiles giving PayScale the unique ability to provide employees and employers alike immediate visibility into the right pay for any position. PayScale’s cloud compensation software is used by more than 3,500 customers including Bloomberg BNA, Cummins, Warby Parker, Clemson University and Signature HealthCARE.

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