Women Earn Less than Men in Architecture and Engineering Professions

patricia arquette
Patricia Arquette / E! Online

Actress Patricia Arquette spoke passionately about closing the gender pay gap during her acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress during the Academy Awards on Sunday night. An uneven playing field exists in a number of professions, including the architecture and engineering occupations—women in these fields earn 82 percent of what men make, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2014 averages, which are based on median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers.

The Wall Street Journal used the 2014 data to show that in only two professions do women match or exceed men’s weekly earnings—health practitioner support technologists and technicians (100 percent) and stock clerks and order fillers (102 percent). A gap exists in every other occupation. Among full-time workers, women earn 82.5 percent of male salaries. Women working in construction earn 91.3 percent of male salaries; women in legal professions earn 56.7 percent, the biggest gap.

Discrimination plays a role in the gender wage gap, according to the National Women’s Law Center. The center cites a 2007 study by labor economists Francine Blau and Lawrence Kahn, which showed that 41 percent of the wage gap remains unexplained even after examining the effects of occupation, industry, work experience, union status, race, and educational attainment. This indicates that discrimination plays a sizable role in the gap.

The 2012 median pay for landscape architects was $64,180, slightly less than the $66,380 earned by architects, surveyors, and cartographers, says the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. No information about possible salary differences between male and female landscape architects was provided by the bureau.

One thought on “Women Earn Less than Men in Architecture and Engineering Professions

  1. Jason McGuire 04/18/2015 / 9:15 pm

    See, the problem with this type of study is they don’t seem to differentiation between different positions in a particular industry.

    Take nursing, for example. Everybody knows the majority of RNs are women. It’s not sexist, it’s just a fact. So if you took average salaries of nurses, you’d probably find that women make more than men. There are more women in the field, so a woman is more likely to advance to a higher position and higher earnings.

    But if you pull back and look at the healthcare industry, then yeah, I’m sure men make on average, more money than women. Maybe it’s because there’s more male doctors; maybe it’s because men are sexist. I don’t know, but I do know that statistics need to be carefully interpreted.

    I’m all for equality, but “reports” like this don’t tell the whole story.

    I work with several woman (both in my company and in my industry) and I know they are quite successful, including having high salaries.

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