I am grateful to Wayne K. Andrew for his assistance in the analysis of data on earnings.
The Gender Pay Gap: Concrete Indicator of Women's Progress Toward Equality
Article first published online: 4 DEC 2003
Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy
Volume 3, Issue 1, pages 87–109, December 2003
How to Cite
Lips, H. M. (2003), The Gender Pay Gap: Concrete Indicator of Women's Progress Toward Equality. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 3: 87–109. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-2415.2003.00016.x
- Issue published online: 4 DEC 2003
- Article first published online: 4 DEC 2003
A male–female earnings gap has persisted through the last half century. Attempts to explain the disparity by attributing it to gender differences in work patterns reveal the unexamined assumption that male work patterns should form the basis of comparison. The gap affects full- and part-time workers and appears within racial/ethnic groups, educational levels, and occupations, and across countries. Forecasting analyses show no convincing evidence that the gap is narrowing. Although the causes of the gender pay gap are complex, data on women's lower pay within educational levels and occupations and data on women's dramatically lower recognition in domains where their talents and achievements are equal to men's (e.g., literary awards) implicate the undervaluing of work associated with women. Approaches to narrowing the gap are discussed. As psychologists, we should address this problem because our expertise bears directly on the issues and because our discipline is increasingly populated by women.