The Gender Pay Gap Widens The Higher Women Climb

PayScale’s survey of 1.4 million women reveals that men in executive positions earn as much as 6.1% more than women in the same roles.

The Gender Pay Gap Widens The Higher Women Climb
[Photo: Flickr user Thomas Leuthard]

We’ve seen that simply having more women in leadership roles doesn’t necessarily move the needle on the wage gap. That’s complicated by the fact that women are generally more cautious about taking a promotion because they are more likely to see the negative side of added responsibilities.


PayScale, an online crowd-sourced salary database, just released a study on the gender pay gap using salary data from more than 1.4 million full-time employees who completed a survey between July 2013 and July 2015. The survey asked employees about marital and family status, location, job type, industry, age, education, and other factors that affect pay for men and women.

Even though more women say they have professional role models within their organization, male workers see a greater salary benefit when they have such role models. Both men and women who have been recommended for leadership training earn more money than their counterparts who have not, but men see a greater pay increase than women.

Image: courtesy of PayScale

The pay gap gets wider as job levels get higher. According to PaysScale’s data, male executives earn as much as 6.1% more than women in the same roles, except between single moms and dads, who experience the largest controlled pay gap at the manager/supervisor level.

This may be because the study found that men move into management earlier and more frequently than women with only 55% of men working as individual contributors at lower levels compared to 63% of women.


Despite the disparity, PayScale found that women are more likely to say that their job is meaningful and satisfying, but also stressful. Women are also more likely to report that they are underemployed. Analysis also revealed that women are less likely to say that they feel appreciated at work or that their employer has a transparent pay process. This holds true across all jobs and industries.

Related: Sallie Krawcheck On The Benefits Of Investing In Women

About the author

Lydia Dishman is a business journalist writing about the intersection of tech, leadership, commerce, and innovation. She is a regular contributor to Fast Company and has written for CBS Moneywatch, Fortune, The Guardian, Popular Science, and the New York Times, among others.