There has been significant coverage in recent years of the pay gap between men and women, with the latest evidence showing that female employees only earn about 82% of their male counterparts’ salaries.
That’s not the whole story, though. In fact, women in a number of cities across the country actually earn more, on average, than men.
Where females make more
The city where young women are most likely to earn more than men is Wenatchee, Washington. Female pay here is as much as 120% higher than males make in similar industries.
In a close second is Morgantown, West Virginia, which boasts a 14% salary advantage for women.
Overall, however, fewer than 10% of the 250 metro areas included in the study reveal that women tend to earn more than men. And the reason for such trends isn’t immediately obvious.
Researcher Richard Fry outlined a few reasons that could explain the discrepancy in the 22 cities that have effectively reversed the pay gap.
Why females make more
According to Fry, the following factors can help boost women’s salaries:
- Areas in which more women have earned at least a bachelor’s degree tend to have a smaller gender pay disparity.
- When an area offers plenty of jobs in fields dominated by women, such as education, the pay gap is narrower than in regions with male-dominated industries like manufacturing.
- Since an unintended consequence of motherhood is reduced pay, areas where women wait later to have children typically have smaller pay gaps.
While it might be encouraging to see that women are making serious progress in at least certain areas of the country, the latest research only considers women under 30 years old.
Nevertheless, Harvard sociology professor Alexandra Killewald said that there is “progress year by year,” which means that “there is cause for optimism.”