Glass Ceiling Still in Place

January 24, 2002 ( - The corporate glass ceiling, long blamed for denying women promotions and deserved pay raises, is apparently in as good a shape as ever, a new federal study finds.

In fact, the wage gap between female managers and their male counterparts was even greater in 2000 than it had been five years earlier, according a report by the Associated Press.

The report cited a study of 10 industries by the General Accounting Office (GAO), Congress’ investigating arm, which found that:

  • full-time women managers earned less than their male counterparts in each industry in both 1995 and 2000, and
  • the earnings disparity grew in seven of the fields over that time period

Although the report does not explain why earnings may have dropped for women managers, it notes that the pay gap was widest among parents. Among married managers, nearly 60% of men have children at home, compared to 40% of women.

Communications Salaries Lagging

For example, female communications managers made 86 cents for every dollar earned by male managers in 1995. Five years later, a woman in the same field made 73 cents for every dollar earned by a man, the GAO found.

There were also drops in women’s pay for jobs in:

  • entertainment and recreation services,
  • finances,
  • insurance,
  • real estate,
  • repair services, and
  • retail trade

Women’s earnings compared to men increased in three fields – public administration, hospitals, and medical services and educational services – according to the data.

Report Not All Bad News

But, according to Census Bureau figures, more women are making their way into managerial positions. There were more than 7.1 million women in full-time executive, administrative or managerial positions in the industries studied by the GAO in 1998 – a 29 % jump from 1993.

According to the report, the industries examined in the report employ 71% of the female workers and 73% of female managers in the US.