What factors contribute to the gender pay gap?

15 answers

  • Women are, on average, more agreeable than men. This could be relevant when negotiating a salary for a particular role.

  • Young men are more likely than young women to relocate for work. This would open up more opportunities for a higher salary.

  • Women generally prefer to take softer skilled jobs, rather than pursuing careers in eg engineering

  • Men are more likely than women to work in dangerous jobs, which are typically compensated with higher wages.

  • In many professions, men are more likely to be promoted than their female colleagues.

  • For a variety of reasons, women strongly value a short commute and therefore must be compensated more than men to accept far-away jobs. As a result, they are more likely to work close to home in jobs that pay relatively less.

  • Many career-focused women find that starting a family changes their priorities, and realise that there is more to life than just working all the time.

  • On average, men work more hours than women.

  • In some industries, sex-based discrimination in the workplace has pushed women away.

  • Even in societies which strive to ensure equality of opportunity, men and women still sort themselves into the roles they prefer, rather than roles that would achieve equal pay.

  • Men are more likely than women to apply for a job when they don't necessarily have all of the listed skill requirements. Women tend to only apply for jobs where they have most or all of the skills already.

  • Men are more likely to take jobs that require a large sacrifice, eg executive jobs that are demanding on time / stress / quality of life

  • The gap begins before the workplace: in higher education, women on average choose to study lower paying fields, or lower paying specialities in higher paying fields.

  • Women take more time on maternity leave than men take as paternity leave.

  • Unconscious bias can make us associate female confidence as being "pushy", whereas we see confidence in men as only a positive trait. This can make a huge difference in favour of men in face-to-face job interviews.