If you just graduated and are new to the job market, finding that perfect position can seem like an overwhelming task. Unless you’re lucky enough to have had a job lined up months in advance, you’re probably scrambling to submit applications in hopes of pleasing your concerned parents who are starting to think you’ll be living in their basement forever.
Depending on your major and degree, entry-level salaries can be less than ideal. Especially for someone with little experience in the field, convincing employers that you’re a qualified candidate can be a challenge in itself, let alone begging for a salary high enough to afford rent.
To make matters even more difficult, the gender pay gap looms over opportunities across the United States, cutting into women’s salaries. However, while society is still far from perfectly equal, there have been significant strides towards equality offering a sense of hope to women across America.
Of course, not all locations are equal. A recent study by GetResponse.com analyzed the best and worst US cities for professional women in terms of gender wage gap and industry representation. Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re currently on the job hunt.
Detroit is Home to the Lowest Pay Gap
In Detroit, Michigan, men earn approximately 12% more than women. Taken out of context, that may seem like a lot. However, in comparison to the national percentages, this is a value to be celebrated. This is 10% more equal than the US as a whole, and will likely continue to improve as time progresses.
Sacramento and Atlanta Still Have Work to Do
On the opposite end of this spectrum are cities in California and Georgia that are among the worst locations for women to work. If you thought the 12% sounded like an unfair value, women in Sacramento and Atlanta make 38% less than their male counterparts. Whether this is due to industries in these areas, representation of women, or simply discrimination is still very unclear. What is clear, however, is the need to improve this very stark issue.
Women Dominate the Healthcare and Education Industry
It probably comes as no surprise that women represent 65% of all people employed in education and 75% of healthcare, given that teachers and nurses are very stereotypical jobs for females. Men dominate the construction and manual labor force at 79% and computer and engineering fields at 69%. In the STEM field, which is also one of the highest paid industries to work in, fewer than one in every three workers are female.
While this industry divide could potentially explain the gender wage gap at least in part, female teachers still earn approximately $8,000 less than male teachers in similar positions with similar qualifications. This means that it’s not only the industry that women are working in that differentiates their pay, but there is some underlying mechanism interfering.
Solving the gender pay gap is not an easy thing to do – if it were we would probably live in a much more equal world. No singular dataset can answer the question of the lack of equality, it would take extensive research, experiments, and likely some guesswork to truly locate the root of this issue.
However, simply spreading awareness of the problem can significantly alleviate the burdens. This can both allow employers to be more conscious about their hiring and women to find a community that share their frustrations so they feel less alone.
So for those women applying for jobs, this is good information to be aware of. Stand up for yourself, but don’t get discouraged. There is clearly sources of hope in cities like Detroit that have significantly minimized inequality – so we can hope that equality is closer than we think.