Even when men and women from similar backgrounds had identical jobs in the same firm, women still only earned 89% of their male co-workers pay.
The report was released to coincide with Equal Pay Day 2001 — the theoretical date when working women finally matched male earnings for the 12 months of 2000.
Employer discrimination and women’s tendency to take traditionally “female” and often lower paid jobs were cited as reasons for the disparity in the draft report, which combines work by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Urban League.
The average American woman worked in a field where 70% of the work force was female. However, just 29% of the average male’s co-workers were female according to the report, released by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Ia), who commissioned the study.
The top 10 female-dominated occupations all paid below the levels of the 10 professions with the highest percentage of male workers, with the exception of dental hygienists and licensed nurses.
A Labor Department spokesman called the release of the draft report “unfortunate,” according to Reuters. Stuart Roy, spokesman for the Department said that “the methodology and the data that was used in the study was severely flawed.” Another study is being prepared.
A January 16 memo obtained by The Associated Press from the Clinton administration’s Office of Management and Budget found the reports “do little to improve our understanding of the gender wage gap. They have some serious errors that could lead to false conclusions.”