CAREER BRIEF

Gender pay gap persists

US male PhD holders earn more than female counterparts across nearly every scientific field.

Pay disparities between female and male PhD holders in the United States exist across almost all fields of science and engineering, according to a report from the US National Science Foundation (NSF). The report examines annual salaries for those who earned their doctorate in 2016 and had confirmed permanent employment in the life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics and computer sciences, psychology and social sciences, or engineering. Across all fields, the median salary of US$92,000 for men was 24% higher than the $74,000 median salary for women. In biomedical and biological sciences, women earned $67,500 to men’s $77,000; in geosciences, atmospheric and ocean sciences, the figures were $65,500 for women and $71,000 for men; in physics and astronomy, women earned $89,000 to men’s $100,000; and in engineering, women earned $92,000 to their male counterparts’ $100,000. Women had lower salaries in all fields of social sciences, including psychology and economics. In health sciences, women and men disclosed equal salaries of $80,000. The NSF report did not indicate whether the salaries reported were within or outside academia.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-018-00113-6
Nature Briefing

Sign up for the daily Nature Briefing email newsletter

Stay up to date with what matters in science and why, handpicked from Nature and other publications worldwide.

Sign Up