Women continue to make less pay than men in nearly all professions, including real estate sales and brokerage, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

Of the 120 occupations IWPR recently studied, only four surfaced in which women out-earned men. Those were counselors, teacher assistants, food preparation and serving workers and sewing machine operators, according to the IWPR report “The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation 2016” released April 2017.

In the bulk of occupations, 107 to be precise, women’s average earnings were at least 5 cents of each dollar earned less than men’s earnings. The profession with the dubious distinction of having the largest gender wage gap was personal financial advisor, in which 2016 median weekly earnings among women were 55.6% of what they were for men. Real estate brokers and sales agents fell into another category of occupations, which also include insurance sales agents, physicians and surgeons, securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents and marketing and sales managers, where women make in the neighborhood of 66% less than their male counterparts, according to the IWPR report.

Women’s pay in real estate

IWPR calls real estate brokers and sales agents “middle skill jobs,” because they don’t require a bachelor’s degree. These real estate categories represent target jobs, according to IWPR, because their median earnings are $35,000 annually or more and the careers offer stable or growing employment. Among real estate brokers and sales agents, specifically, women earn a median $42,987.62 and men earn a median $61,771.71 annually. The female-to-male earnings ratio on real estate sales and brokerage is 69.6%. And that’s in a female-dominated career sector. Women represent 57% of real estate brokers and sales people in the U.S., according to IWPR.

Women represent 57% of real estate brokers and sales people in the U.S., according to IWPR.

Erika Morphy, who wrote about real estate brokers and the gender pay gap in an article published April 5, on GlobeSt.com, covered the IWPR report release and noted how some economists don’t think there’s a gender gap but rather a gap in hours worked. If that’s true, the reason could be that women spend more time doing unpaid work, at home. There’s another data source, by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, called the American Time Use Survey, which suggests women spend more time than men doing unpaid household work, according to Morphy.

Among real estate brokers and sales agents, specifically, women earn a median $42,987.62 and men earn a median $61,771.71 annually. The female-to-male earnings ratio on real estate sales and brokerage is 69.6%.

So, when might women catch up to men in earnings? IWPR, which tracks the gender pay gap twice each year, projects women will reach pay parity in 2059 if today’s pace continues.

Still, there are different ways of looking at why the gap occurs. The National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses posted an article on April 20 on a new Glassdoor study about the gender pay disparity. The study suggested that about 20% of the pay gap occurs in areas where women make less than men even though they have equal experience and the same job description at the same company. In other cases, it results from differences in education and industry, according to NAWRB.

IWPR, which tracks the gender pay gap twice each year, projects women will reach pay parity in 2059 if today’s pace continues.

For example, female-dominated college majors, including social work, healthcare administration, anthropology, nursing and human resources, tend to pay less than the male-dominated majors of mechanical engineering, civil engineering, physics, computer science and engineering and electrical engineering. While men dominated nine of the 10 highest paying majors, women dominated six of the 10 lowest paying majors, according to Glassdoor’s April 19 report “The Pipeline Problem: How College Majors Contribute to the Gender Pay Gap.”

Bridging the gap

IWPR suggests that to reduce the gender wage gap, women need to help make sure employers use non-discriminatory hiring and pay practices. Other factors that go into more equitable pay for women include better training and career counseling, as well as improved work-family support systems, according to IWRP.

After all, in real estate professions, such as sales and brokerage, women have the qualities that make them ideal candidates, according to Munira Rangwala’s article “Is real estate still a man’s domain?” published April 12 on YourStory.com.

Women are good listeners, tend to be more detail-oriented, are naturally more nurturing and inspire trust, according to Rangwala.

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