Researchers at Cornell University have found that the difference between occupations and industries has become the single largest cause of the gender pay gap. In other words, as another study has shown, when women enter fields in large numbers, wages actually decline — “for the very same jobs that more men were doing before,” reports Claire Cain Miller. This may explain why women continue to earn bout 20 percent less than men: because their work is not valued as highly.
Jobs requiring similar education and/or similar skills are still divided by gender. As Miller notes: “The median earnings of information technology managers (mostly men) are 27 percent higher than human resources managers (mostly women), according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. At the other end of the wage spectrum, janitors (usually men) earn 22 percent more than maids and housecleaners (usually women).”