DPE Releases New Publication on Professional Women Report Points to a Persistent and Growing Wage Gap

For Immediate Release
January 31, 2002
CONTACT: Pamela Wilson

Washington, DC – The Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) today released Salaried and Professional Women: Relevant Statistics, 2001 Edition. The new publication paints a statistical portrait of the world of work for women, including the changes in their labor force participation and occupational distribution, their numbers and earnings in selected occupations, their unemployment rates, and their growing participation in unions and higher education.

“Our report points to a persistent and growing wage gap for professional women,” said Paul Almeida, President of the Department for Professional Employees. “In 2000, the median earnings for professional women working full-time were almost 26% less than their male counterparts. In 1996, the wage gap was 24.5%, while in 1995, it was 23.6%. The inequity persists even though women have been earning more bachelor’s and master’s degrees than men for almost 20 years. It’s time for this to change.”

Highlights of the analysis include the following facts:

  • Women now account for almost 47% of the total U.S. labor force. Even among mothers of children under the age of three, 61% worked full or part-time in 2000.
  • Women have made significant progress into both the mainstream and the higher echelons of the labor force. In 2000, more women than men entered law school and women accounted for almost 45% of medical students.
  • While professional women earned almost 26% less than professional men in 2000, female technicians and related support workers earned 29% less than those who were male, and female administrative support, including clerical workers, earned more than 20% less than similarly employed men.
  • Degrees do little to narrow the gap. A woman with a doctoral degree earned 29% less than her male counterpart in 1998, while a woman with a professional degree (such as medicine, law or dentistry) earned 39% less.

The publication is a valuable resource for academic institutions and local libraries, union officers and staff, and anyone interested in the U.S. economy. The cost per issue is $8:00, postage paid; quantity prices are available upon request. Call 202-638-0320 to place an order, or visit our web site at www.dpeaflcio.org for more information and a list of other DPE publications.

The Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO represents 21 national and international unions comprising more than four million white collar workers. DPE was chartered in 1977 in recognition of the dramatic rise in professional and technical employment among union members.