WASHINGTON — The overall gender pay gap has been well-documented, but a new report shows it’s particularly pronounced in the food service industry, where women are being underpaid in just about every job – even when accounting for tips.
The median hourly wage paid to women is less than it is for men in all but one of the 11 jobs surveyed in a report by the Economic Policy Institute. In some cases, the gap is slight – for cashiers, dishwashers, food preparation workers and hosts and hostesses, it’s a matter of cents. But in others, including supervisors and bartenders, the difference is well over a dollar. For managers, the highest earning occupation, the disparity was nearly three dollars per hour.
“This is what we identify as pay discrimination,” said Valerie Wilson, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute. “The work women are doing is being valued at less than the work men do in the same job.”
Women, however, aren’t just being paid less to do the same job – they’re being paid less and less compared to men as they move up the ranks, too. Some of the highest earning occupations – managers, bartenders and supervisors – are also the ones with the largest gender pay gap.
“As you go up in the pay scale, that’s where these gaps tend to emerge, that’s where we’re seeing the most of the difference,” said Wilson.