Salary Gap Between Male and Female Registered Nurses
Though salary differences have narrowed between males and females in many occupations since the passage of the Equal Pay Act in 1963, the results of a study conducted by the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) showed a marked salary gap between male and female registered nurses, with males earning greater than $5000 more per year than females. The largest pay gap was noted in cardiology, and the smallest difference in the chronic care setting. Orthopedics was the only specialty area in which researchers found no significant difference. With nursing being a female dominated profession, this pay discrepancy affects more than 3 million women in the United States. Researchers gathered data from two well-known sources, for a total sample size of 290,000 registered nurses. During each year of the study, researchers found that males earned greater salaries than females. What is even more alarming is that they also found no significant changes over the course of the study.
The study did not look at the reasons for the differences in salaries, but health care professionals say a number of possibilities exist such as workplaces being interested in diversification, men being better at asking for more money, and women leaving the workplace to have children.
So what’s next? Researchers plan to analyze the reasons for the gaps in pay. In the meantime, if you are a female registered nurse, the results of the UCSF study offer an opportunity for you to advocate for yourself and ask your employer why salary differences exist between males and females in your workplace. What better time than now to eradicate gender bias once and for all?