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Trends in gender pay gaps of scientists and engineers in academia and industry


An analysis of sectoral differences in gender pay gap over career lifecycles reveals that academia has a wider gender pay gap relative to industry.

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Fig. 1: Binned scatter plot of inflation-adjusted salary over career lifecycle.
Fig. 2: Estimated gender gaps in rate of pay increase over entry-stage salary in academia and industry.
Fig. 3: Estimated gender gap in probability of holding a high-value job and in rate of pay increase.

Data availability

The data used in our analyses are restricted-use SDR data from the NSF. Researchers may apply for a license from NSF to access these data.

Code availability

Links to the STATA code for data cleaning, variable construction, regressions and figures, with which users can replicate our results from raw SDR data, will be posted at


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The authors acknowledge feedback from P. Stephan and S. Braguinsky. This research is supported by NSF grant no. 1550727 and JSPS KAKENHI grant no. 15KK0078.

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All authors contributed equally to the conceptualization, resource acquisition, methodology, data analysis and writing of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Waverly W. Ding.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Supplementary Material

Supplementary Data, Tables 1–15 and Figs. 1–3

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Ding, W.W., Ohyama, A. & Agarwal, R. Trends in gender pay gaps of scientists and engineers in academia and industry. Nat Biotechnol 39, 1019–1024 (2021).

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