In gender pay gap, lesbians do better than straight women, gay men
It takes 1 year, 4 months and 14 days for a women’s pay to equal that of man doing the same job – and thats why today, 4/14 is consider Equal Pay Day – to remind everyone of the on-ging inequality in pay for women.
But a study by the Center for American Progress have found some interesting data to go along with Equal Pay Day – while women on average earn less than their male counter parts, lesbians make more than their straight counter parts, and despite discrimination, they often earn more than gay men as well.
Slate has a good breakdown of the science:
On average, for every dollar earned by a man in a heterosexual couple, a woman in a heterosexual couple earns 63 cents, while a woman in a same-sex couple earns 79 cents (same-sex coupled men earn 98 cents)…
While the exact combinations of factors that lead to a wage premium for U.S. lesbians aren’t thoroughly understood, potential explanations can tell us a lot about the ways in which sexism, cultural influences, and individual choices combine to give us the unequal workplace landscape we see today.
The study combines a number of factors and numbers, and beyond what seems like an optimistic statistic, the struggle to find a job and stay employed is actually worse for LGBTQ women.
From the Center for American Progress study:
Women who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender (LGBT) have the same concerns as other women. They worry about finding and keeping good jobs, saving for the future, taking care of their children and families, and making ends meet. But America’s 5.1 million LGBT women face added challenges and worries not just because of their gender, but also because of who they are and whom they love.
Discrimination and stigma, combined with the struggles faced by all women, make LGBT women and their families especially vulnerable. Anti-LGBT laws, together with inequitable and outdated policies, mean that LGBT women are forced to pay an unfair price in reduced incomes and added costs for everything from healthcare to housing.
Making matters worse, the burden falls most acutely on those who can least afford it: LGBT women raising children, older LGBT women, LGBT women of color, LGBT immigrants, and those LGBT women and families who are already living near or below the poverty line.
Discrimination leading to issues with employment aside, it appears lesbian women still come out on top when asking for pay compared to gay men. A SAGE publication’s study from earlier this month pointed out this disparity in UK salaries offered:
The firms who offer interviews to gay male candidates pay an average salary of 2.0% less than those who invite heterosexuals for interview (£23,072 compared to £23,544). For lesbian women the average salary is 1.4% less (£22,569 compared to £22,907).
This mixed bag of stats and data doesn’t always play out in the real world – and Virginia continues to lack any real protections for LGBTQ employees (yes, it’s legal to fire someone for who they love in the Commonwealth), but it’s always interesting to see how these conversations around the pay gap, and how they impact sexual minorities, are being faced in with the broader public.
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