The 15 Most Sexist Jobs In America

Alison Griswold

To find out which jobs feature the biggest gender wage gaps, we compared the median weekly earnings of men and women working full time in 2012 in the same job titles, as reported by the BLS. We then ranked the jobs with the largest pay discrepancies in percentage terms.  

As a broad category, sales appears to be one of the worst areas for women. In sales and related occupations, women make on average 62.2% of what men earn in those same positions, according to data from the BLS. Legal, management, production, and business and financial operations occupations also tend to pay women far less than men.

While the report doesn't speculate on why men significantly out-earn women in particular fields, firm size, geographic location, and industry may all factor into the discrepancies. Women may be more likely to pursue career paths at smaller companies and nonprofits, and may also be less successful at salary negotiations. Discrimination, either by employers or clients, may also contribute, particularly in legal, business, and management careers without clearly defined salary ranges.

To be sure, the wage gap as a whole has improved significantly over the past three decades. In 1979, women earned 62% as much as men in the same job titles. That figure has jumped 20 percentage points to women's current earnings of 81 cents on the dollar. 

Most of that progress, however, came between the 1980s and the early 2000s. Improvements in the gender wage gap largely stalled after the onset of the Great Recession, and women's salaries have hovered around 80% of men's for roughly the past decade.

Here are the 15 jobs with the largest gender wage gaps, based on the latest data from the BLS:

1. Insurance sales agents

Women's median weekly earnings: $641

Women's pay as a percentage of men's: 62.5%

2. Retail salespersons

Women's median weekly earnings: $436

Women's pay as a percentage of men's: 64.3%

3. Sales and related workers (all other)

Women's median weekly earnings: $653

Women's pay as a percentage of men's: 65.6%

4. Real estate brokers and sales agents

Women's median weekly earnings: $680

Women's pay as a percentage of men's: 66%

5. Personal financial advisors

Women's median weekly earnings: $1,016

Women's pay as a percentage of men's: 66.3%

6. Marketing and sales managers

Women's median weekly earnings: $1,110

Women's pay as a percentage of men's: 67%

7. Education administrators

Women's median weekly earnings: $1,052

Women's pay as a percentage of men's: 67.2% 

8 (tie). General and operations managers

Women's median weekly earnings: $971

Women's pay as a percentage of men's: 67.6%

8 (tie). Physicians and surgeons

Women's median weekly earnings: $1,418

Women's pay as a percentage of men's: 67.6%

10. Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents

Women's median weekly earnings: $862

Women's pay as a percentage of men's: 69.1%

11. Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers

Women's median weekly earnings: $570

Women's pay as a percentage of men's: 69.2%

12. Claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators

Women's median weekly earnings: $803

Women's pay as a percentage of men's: 69.3%

13. Financial managers

Women's median weekly earnings: $988

Women's pay as a percentage of men's: 70.3% 

14. First-line supervisors of production and operating workers

Women's median weekly earnings: $674

Women's pay as a percentage of men's: 70.6%

15. Sales representatives (wholesale and manufacturing) 

Women's median weekly earnings: $822

Women's pay as a percentage of men's: 70.8%

See Also:

SEE ALSO: This Is The One Area Where Women Consistently Earn More Than Men