The Best and Worst Careers for Women Based on the Gender Pay Gap

As a restaurant server all throughout college, I would often hear my male coworkers complain of women receiving “higher tips.”

FIRST OFF. The gross old man who gave me an extra $3 after I didn’t yell at him when he made sexual advances? Trust me, I’d trade $3 any day to not have to deal with unwanted sexual harassment in an environment where “the customer is always right” and I have to keep my job to pay bills. 

SECONDLY. The ONE industry where women may occasionally make more than men…they complain. Meanwhile staying silent to the very real, entrenched societal sexism that creates the perfect breeding grounds for continuation of inequality. 

OH AND? According to 2018 data, male servers make slightly more on average than women. 

Thus, my immediate reaction to the male tears of my coworkers has always been a very boisterous laugh.

The gender pay gap is, unfortunately, still largely alive. However, not all career fields have the 20% average disparity. 

The WORST Careers

Image via CNBC

Personal Financial Advisor ranks number one as the absolute worst career for women in terms of pay; no career has a wider pay discrepancy as women make an average of $1,000 a week while men make $1,662. 

In 2017, the National Bureau of Economic Research found that female financial advisors often receive harsher punishments and are less likely to acquire a new job as compared to males, despite research also revealing that incidents on the job involving women often cost less to handle, as well as women being less likely to repeat offences.

However, while these careers are largely male-dominated, simply increasing female representation doesn’t necessarily render a decrease in the wage gap.

In fact, out of the twenty worst jobs for women according to the pay gap, almost a fourth of the career fields were dominated by women at around 60% or more. While almost 70% of Human Resource Managers are women, the average woman in the job takes home less than 75% of her male counterparts pay. (USA Today).

The (Better) Jobs

Photo via CNBC

Additionally, using data from the US Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey, Business Insider compiled a list of the top 20 jobs to hold as a woman: 8 out of the 15 jobs are all in the medical field. 

Best Paying Jobs

Nurse anesthetist (58% women, median pay $151,667)
Pharmacist (55% women, median pay $118,461)
Nurse Midwife (100% women, median pay $101,552)
Physician assistant (63% women, median pay $100,434)
Nurse Practitioner (88% women, median pay $100,030)
Veterinarian (59% women, median pay $82,228)
Radiation therapist (68% women, median pay $79,488)
Physical therapist (63% women, median pay $74,555)
Medical Scientist (53% women, median pay $71,175)

This isn’t to say that as a woman you should only consider pursuing a career in the medical field; if your goal is to be a Financial Advisor, go for it! This article is not to discourage any of us from pursuing the careers we are truly passionate about. 

In fact, jobs in the math, science and, engineering fields have become the ones at the head of the class in the latest list of the best jobs for women in 2015. However, pursuing tough male-dominated fields such as these on our own can be tough and even quite lonely. 

There are now many online communities offering assistance and support to career women; professional communities like Ellevate can connect women to other females in similar careers, providing necessary support and forums for discussion.

While $100 a month could almost buy you two weeks worth of lunch, gaining the support of other career women who are going through the same experience is priceless.

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