Women’s role in the American workforce is at the forefront of public conversation this year, a result of the presidential election. From the Ledbetter Act, to binders full of women, there’s growing interest in the opportunities women have – and don’t have – in today’s job market.
More women are graduating from college than men, yet an American Association of University Women (AAUW) study finds that a disparity in pay exists from the outset after graduation. Men are likely to be paid a dollar for every 77 cents a woman with the same credentials earns, the study says. And yet, by age 24, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that 28% of women have a bachelor’s degree. That number is 19% for men.
Certain career paths are more currently more promising for gender equality. A PayScale.com/Forbes study finds that women with pharmacy degrees have excellent opportunities for career advancement. The median pay for women in an industry that is made up 56% of women is $99,000 annually. That still lags behind men, but is 95% of the overall median – a vast improvement from the projected national average.
IT opportunities are burgeoning for female job seekers. Though the industry is still low on representation of women – estimates are that only 26% of computer and information systems managers are women – this career offers women 97% of men’s pay at a competitive $80,000 median salary.
Two of the most welcoming careers for women in the current market are also in the most stable industry, healthcare: occupational and physical therapist ranked in the CareerCast.com Best Healthcare Jobs ranking, and women account for 86% and 65% of the profession.