Female RNs, aides earn 7 to 10% less than male counterparts

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Female registered nurses and aides earn an average of approximately 7 to 10% less than their male counterparts, depending on the position, according to a new analysis by the Institute for Women's Policy Research.

According to the research, female registered nurses earned 90.6% of their male counterparts' wages in 2016. Also, women who were personal care aides made 91.2% of what men in their positions earned. And female nursing, psychiatric and home health aides took home 93.3% of men's earnings for the same work.

Those three job categories are among the 20 most popular job categories for women who work full time, according to the analysis.

Overall, the research found that women's median earnings are lower than men's in nearly all occupations, whether they work in jobs predominantly performed by women, in positions mainly held by men or in occupations with a more equal mix of men and women.

“While low-wage work can be found across the economy, it is particularly prevalent in jobs that involve the education and care of children, the elderly and the infirm, work that traditionally was done by women at home, and often continues to be done almost exclusively by women when it is paid,” the authors wrote. “Many of these jobs are low paid even though workers are expected to have at least a high school diploma and some post-secondary certificates.”

Some solutions to decreasing the gender pay gap, the researchers said, include non-discriminatory hiring and pay practices, better training and career counseling, improved work-family supports, and public policy actions such as increasing the minimum wage.

The analysis was released on April 4, Equal Pay Day, originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men's and women's wages. The date symbolizes how far into the next year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.

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