Female Managers Not Growing in Number

New GAO study finds female managers earned 81 cents for every dollar earned by male managers in 2007, compared to 79 cents in 2000.

Between 2000 to 2007, across all industries, female managers' representation and differences between female and male managers' characteristics remained largely similar, according to a study released by the General Accounting Office on Sept. 28.

In 2007, women comprised an estimated 40% of managers and 49% of nonmanagers on average for the 13 industry sectors the GAO analyzed--industries that comprised almost all of the nation's workforce--compared to 39% of managers and 49% of nonmanagers in 2000.

In all but three industry sectors women were less than proportionately represented in management positions than in nonmanagement positions in 2007. Women were more than proportionately represented in management positions in construction and public administration, and there was no statistically significant difference between women's representation in management and nonmanagement positions for the transportation and utilities sector.

The study reported that female managers in 2007 had less education, were younger on average, were more likely to work part-time, and were less likely to be married or have children, than male managers.

While the average female married manager earned the majority of her own household's wages, her share of household wages was smaller than the share contributed by the average male married manager to his household's wages. These findings were generally similar to findings for 2000.

While both male and female managers experienced increases in attainment of bachelor's degrees or higher, women's gains surpassed men's. According to our estimates, male managers with a bachelor's degree or higher increased three percentage points from 53% in 2000 to 56% in 2007, while female managers with a bachelor's degree or higher increased 6 percentage points from 45% in 2000 to 51% in 2007.

Similarly, while the share of male managers with a master's degree or higher went up less than 1 percentage point from 2000 to 2007, the share of female managers with a master's degree or higher rose nearly 4 percentage points.

The estimated difference in pay between female managers working full time and male managers working full time narrowed slightly between 2000 and 2007 after adjusting for selected factors that were available and are commonly used in examining salary levels, such as age, hours worked beyond full time, and education. When looking at all industry sectors together and adjusting for these factors, the GAO estimated that female managers earned 81 cents for every dollar earned by male managers in 2007, compared to 79 cents in 2000.

The estimated adjusted pay difference varied by industry sector, with female managers' earnings ranging from 78 cents to 87 cents for every dollar earned by male managers in 2007, depending on the industry sector.

To view the full report, "Women in Management" click here

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