Most people know American women, on average, make 79 percent of what men make. Some argue it’s because women choose lower paying fields or shy away from jobs that come with higher compensation.
But a new analysis of crowdsourced salary data from Glassdoor finds that even when men and women of similar experience and educational backgrounds are working at the same company and have the same job title, women still make less.
Glassdoor’s analysis compares 505,000 salaries and controls for a number of variables, including age, education, years of experience, industry, occupation, state, and company size. All of those shrink the gap but don’t entirely erase it. It then sorted those similar employees by which employers they work for and what their job titles are. The expectation would be that, all things being equal, men and women at the same company with the same title should be paid the same amount. But things are not equal. Men make 5.4 percent more in base pay than women at the same companies with the same titles and 7.4 percent more in overall compensation, both of which are highly statistically significant estimates.
The report notes that while those gaps are much smaller than the overall wage gap, they are still troubling. For one thing, some of the variables that are accounted for may not be about women simply choosing lower paying paths. They may have fewer years of experience, for example, because women are still expected to do more work caring for family members and are more likely to take a break from their careers to do so.
And any gap between men and women doing the exact same work is still troubling, even if it isn’t quite as large. About a third of the raw gap that Glassdoor found without variables remains unexplained by them and is therefore “due to differences in the way the labor market rewards men and women with the same characteristics, or due to unobserved worker characteristics.” In other words, it may simply exist because of pervasive bias against women in the workplace. New research has also found that women are paid less because employers value women’s work less.
Glassdoor’s data is not necessarily drawn from a representative group, as it is voluntarily submitted to its site. But the company is still able to compare men and women by exact employer and title, something more general data can’t do. The findings are also similar to academic studies of the gender wage gap: A recent paper from two economists found that while factors such as education, experience, and industry can help explain the gap, 38 percent of it remains unexplained and might be due to discrimination.