- A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that one of the largest reasons the pay gap persists -- despite now equal levels of education and professional experience between genders -- is "the dearth of women in specific jobs and industries," The Atlantic reported, like STEM and tech companies.
- Having more women enter fields that are male-dominated as well as well-paying (the aforementioned tech and STEM fields) could help even out some of the wage averages, though it wouldn't answer why women are paid less within certain industries, The Atlantic noted.
- The study found that overall culture still plays a role as well, citing that the "motherhood penalty" on income and the "marriage premium" for women and men, respectively, still exists. Basically, women still tend to be expected to opt out of the workplace at certain points, while men don't tend to meet that expectation.
This study points toward continued efforts to encourage women and young girls to enter STEM and other male-dominated fields to ease the gap, and specifically rejected notions that women faced the gap due to "psychological factors" such as men being bigger risk takers, etc. That means the tech industry's efforts to improve gender equality in hiring and promoting are particularly important.
However, the study does note that women are "more likely" to work their schedules around children or ailing parents than men, which may lead to penalties in fields that are typically more time-intensive such as medicine and law. For real equality, caregiving benefits may need to be allowed to both men and women in the workplace.