In theory, male and female workers are supposed to earn the same amount of money when they do the same jobs. This is just one way that equality in the workplace can be achieved, and it reflects the fact that discrimination based on gender is illegal.
However, the facts make it very clear that female workers actually earn far less than their male counterparts. This is true in many industries, but a recent study of physicians – one of the most high-earning Industries in the United States – shows just how big this gap can be.
A difference of 2 million dollars
The study in question looked at a large sample size of around 80,342 physicians, who were both male and female. To conduct the study, researchers simulated an entire career lasting for 40 years, running out the numbers for pay and earnings over that time. They adjusted for the type of work, the hours, and other such factors.
What they found is that a male physician would bring in an average income of $8,307,327 over that time. Over the same amount of time, a female physician would earn $6,263,446. That’s a difference of just under 25%, or $2,043,881.
In other words, a female worker doing the exact same specialized job could expect to earn more than two million dollars less over the course of her career. She requires the same schooling and has all the same obligations, but she is drastically underpaid.
People are often able to overlook differences in pay in hourly wages or even salaries when they feel small at the time. For instance, knowing that a female worker makes $1 an hour less than a male worker may not seem like a huge travesty. However, studies like this show just how massive the difference can be over time, especially in high-paying careers.
Have you been discriminated against?
Do you feel like you’ve been discriminated against in the workplace, perhaps because of your gender? Are you being paid less than you deserve? If so, make sure you take a close look at all of the legal options that you have at your disposal.