American women who work as physicians made $50,000 less annually in 2010 than their male counterparts, according to new research from JAMA Internal Medicine.
Men made $221,297 a year, while women made just $165,278. In fact, women’s earnings are just now reaching the level of what men made 20 years ago: $168,795. Women account for one-third of all doctors and half of medical school students.
The data the researchers used in calculating the gap can’t factor in a doctor’s speciality or practice type, which could account for some of the disparity. But they cautioned that it may not just be different choices women make. “Specialty and practice choices may be due to not only preferences of female physicians but also unequal opportunities,” the researchers told Bloomberg News.
Female doctors aren’t the only ones earning less than their male colleagues. The overall gender wage gap means that on average women make just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. They make less than men in practically every job and industry they might choose to enter. Women’s choices about what careers to pursue and how to factor in family can’t fully account for the gap. They make less than men at every level of education they attain, even beginning with their first jobs out of college. Even women who reach the top of their companies are paid less than other male executives.
Individual women report experiencing this discrimination first hand. Thirteen percent of women say they have been denied a raise because of their gender, while 15 percent said they were passed over for a promotion or other opportunity. About 30 percent of women report experiencing discrimination in the workplace and 31 percent think they would be paid more if they were a man.