Study reveals differences between “unadjusted” and “adjusted” gender pay gaps in all markets when controls for job title, industry, location, company, worker experience and other factors applied; U.S. gender pay gap widest among older workers, computer programmers and those in health care

MILL VALLEY, Calif. (March 23, 2016) – A new multi-country study from Glassdoor® Economic Research confirms a significant gender pay gap between women and men in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and France. The report, titled Demystifying the Gender Pay Gap, is based on a unique data set of more than 534,000 salary reports shared on Glassdoor by online employees[1], which includes pay data down to specific job title and company name. This specificity has enabled Glassdoor to understand both the “unadjusted” and “adjusted” pay gap in each country. In the U.S., the study confirms the gender pay gap rises with age and reveals the occupations and industries with the largest and smallest gender pay gaps.

The unadjusted pay gap between men and women in the U.S. is 24.1 percent, meaning women earn, on average, $0.76 for every $1 men earn. When adding statistical controls for age, education and years of experience, Glassdoor data show the gap compresses to 19.2 percent. And, when additional controls for occupation, industry, location, year, company and job title are factored in, the pay gap in the U.S. becomes 5.4 percent, revealing the adjusted pay gap. The study found similar differences between the unadjusted and adjusted pay gaps in each country analyzed.

“The gender pay gap is real, and Glassdoor’s comprehensive study helps us better understand just how significant this gap is across multiple countries,” said Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist of Glassdoor, Inc. “While our report reveals a significant gender pay gap, it’s important to understand there are multiple ways to analyze this gap. Glassdoor’s unique compensation database allows us to closely examine the factors that help explain some of the documented differences in pay between men and women and shine a bright spotlight on the portion of the wage gap for which there seems to be no explanation.”

Worker Differences: Industry, Occupation & Age

The gender pay gap varies by worker age, occupation and industry. In terms of age, the study reveals the gender pay gap grows as workers get older. In the U.S., workers aged 18 to 24 years face a below-average adjusted gender pay gap of 2.2 percent. By contrast, among older workers aged 55 to 64 years, the adjusted gender pay gap is 10.5 percent, roughly double the national average of 5.4 percent.

The study also examines which occupations have the largest gender pay gaps. In the U.S., the adjusted gender pay gap is largest for computer programmer (28.3 percent), chef (28.1 percent), dentist (28.1 percent), C-suite professionals (e.g., chief executive officer, chief financial officer; 27.7 percent) and psychologist (27.2 percent). There are some occupations in which the gender pay gap is reversed and women earn more than men. The occupations with the largest reverse pay gaps are social worker (-7.8 percent), merchandiser (-7.6 percent), research assistant (-6.6 percent), purchasing specialist (-5.5 percent) and physician advisor (-2.4 percent).

In the U.S., among industries, the adjusted gender pay gap is largest in the health care (7.2 percent), insurance (7.2 percent), mining & metals (6.8 percent), transportation & logistics (6.7 percent) and media (6.6 percent) industries. It is smallest in aerospace & defense (2.5 percent), agriculture & forestry (2.5 percent), biotech & pharmaceuticals (3.0 percent), travel & tourism (3.0 percent) and restaurants, bars & food service (3.2 percent) industries. Although many specific technology occupations, such as commuter programmer, have large gender pay gaps, the technology industry as a whole is closer to the U.S. average and falls in the middle of the pack among industries and slightly above the national average (5.9 percent).

Factors Contributing to the Gender Pay Gap

The report divides the pay gap into what can be “explained” due to differences in worker characteristics (e.g., age, education, etc.) and what remains “unexplained.” Glassdoor researchers found that the majority (67 percent) of the overall U.S. pay gap can be explained, while 33 percent of the overall pay gap cannot be explained by any factors observable in Glassdoor data. This means the unexplained pay gap may very well be attributed to workplace bias (whether intentional or not), negotiation gaps between men and women and/or other unobserved worker characteristics.

The study reveals that the largest contributing factor to the gender pay gap is explained by differences in how men and women sort into occupations and industries with varying earning potential. This finding is consistent across all five countries, and in the U.S., it makes up more than half (54 percent) of the unadjusted gender pay gap. For example, U.S. Census figures show women make up only 26 percent of highly paid chief executives but 71 percent of low-paid cashiers. Other third-party academic research suggests the occupational sorting of men and women is due partly to social pressures that divert men and women into different college majors and career tracks, and to gender norms such as women bearing disproportionate responsibility for child and elderly care, which pressures women into more flexible jobs with lower pay. Less of the gap is explained by gender differences in education, age or years of experience (14 percent).

“Women and men tend pursue different career paths early in life and then sort into different industries and occupations, which, in large part, is due to a variety of societal expectations and traditional gender norms. This is the single largest factor we see contributing to today’s gender pay gap,” added Chamberlain.

“To help close the gender pay gap, we should focus on creating policies and programs that provide women with more access to career development and training, such as pay negotiation skills, to support them throughout their lives in any job or field they choose to enter,” said Dawn Lyon, vice president of corporate affairs of Glassdoor, Inc. “Greater transparency around pay can also help eliminate pay gaps by making it easy to identify disparities and spark conversations with employers to ensure people are paid equally for equal work. Research has shown that companies that embrace salary transparency can also improve employee satisfaction in the long run, which boosts productivity.”

International Market Gender Pay Gaps

Outside of the U.S., the report reveals the unadjusted and adjusted pay gaps in the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and France. Findings in each of these markets are similar: a larger unadjusted pay gap that shrinks, but does not disappear, when additional factors such as worker experience, age, location and job title are included.

See the full Glassdoor Economic Research report, Demystifying the Gender Pay Gap, including an in-depth analysis of the gender pay gap in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and France.

Visit Glassdoor to research salaries or submit a salary report. Visit Glassdoor Economic Research to subscribe to the latest job market and economic employment reports.

# # #

About Glassdoor
Glassdoor is the most transparent jobs and recruiting marketplace that is changing how people search for jobs and how companies recruit top talent. Glassdoor combines free and anonymous reviews, ratings and salary content with job listings to help job seekers find the best jobs and address critical questions that come up during the job search, application, interview and negotiation phases of employment. For employers, Glassdoor offers recruiting and employer branding solutions to help attract high-quality candidates at a fraction of the cost of other channels. Glassdoor operates one of the most popular job apps on iOS and Android. The company launched in 2008 and has raised approximately $160 million from Google Capital, Tiger Global Management, Benchmark, Battery Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures, DAG Ventures, Dragoneer Investment Group and others.

(c) 2016 Glassdoor, Inc. Glassdoor is a registered trademark of Glassdoor, Inc.

[1]Based on more than 534,000 salary reports shared on Glassdoor by full-time employees as of 11/11/15 (U.S.) or 11/24/15 (U.K., Australia, Germany, France). For complete methodology: