The Gender Bias Pay Gap Is Also A Factor Of Age

The Gender Bias Pay Gap Is Also A Factor Of Age

by from Medelita | Monday, Jun 27, 2016
tags: Features

You’ve probably heard that men are paid more than women are paid over their lifetimes. But what does that mean for our society? Though the exact size of the ‘gender bias’ pay gap is hard to put an exact finger on, the fact that it exists at all is symptomatic of a greater problem that must be addressed. A recent study from employment hub Glassdoor aims to provide valuable evidence as to why the X chromosome winds up underpaid.

"An often-overlooked point in gender pay gap studies is that just because the gap in male-female wages declines when we statistically control for worker characteristics, doesn't mean the gap is not real or caused by unfair barriers women face in the workplace," the study said.

This study examines the gender pay gap using a unique dataset of hundreds of thousands of Glassdoor salaries shared anonymously by employees online, and unlike most studies, include detailed statistical controls for specific job titles and company names.

"If women are systematically excluded from certain occupations, or encouraged to work only in certain industries, or discouraged from pursuing particular college majors, these factors can statistically 'explain' the gender pay gap but still represent social biases against women that most observers would consider unfair and worthy of criticism." the study said.

Cooking, cleaning, washing dishes, being super-mom, and caretaker all lend evidence supporting a new finding - age matters. Young female workers between 18 and 24 years old face a pay gap of just 2.2 percent, according to the study. Those between 55 and 64 years old face a gap of roughly 10.5 percent – suggesting a deeper-rooted "gender bias in the workplace."

The single biggest cause of the gender pay gap is occupation and industry sorting of men and women into jobs that pay differently throughout the economy. In the U.S., occupation and industry sorting explains 54 percent of the overall pay gap—by far the largest factor.

Research shows that employer policies that embrace salary transparency can help eliminate hard-to-justify gender pay gaps, and can play an important role in helping achieve balance in male-female pay in the workplace.

How does your state stack up against the fight for equal pay? Find out. Here are the most recent statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau.


Aptly named, Enclothed Cognition is the official Medelita blog for medical professionals interested in topics relevant to a discerning and inquisitive audience. Medelita was founded by a licensed clinician who felt strongly about the connection between focus, poise and appearance.