RACE, RELIGION + SOCIAL JUSTICE

Could STEM be the key to narrowing the gender pay gap?

Mar 12, 2024, 9:00 PM | Updated: Mar 13, 2024, 12:18 pm

Equal Pay for man and woman, cards with gender figures and similar coin stacks on seesaw symbolizin...

Equal Pay for man and woman (Milkos/Getty Images via Canva)

(Milkos/Getty Images via Canva)

SALT LAKE CITY — Tuesday, March 12th is Equal Pay Day, a day to raise awareness about the gender pay gap between men and women. Despite the progress the U.S. has made in recent years, the pay gap persists, especially in Utah but one expert thinks that Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) could be the way to close the gap.

“You see that in Utah, women are in about 71.4% of what men do, and if you compare that to the United States at 81.1%,” said Gwen Kervin, an economist at Workforce Services.

Kervin says this gap is due to various factors but says that a potential change is on the horizon thanks to the steady rise of women in STEM careers.

“We are seeing more women going into those STEM fields, and that’s going to mean that they can demand higher pay as they go into those higher-paying occupations,” Kervin said.

STEM-related professions tend to offer higher salaries compared to other fields. “You look at computer and mathematical occupations those pay about $92,600 or architecture pays just north of $90,000,” said Kervin.

Even though progress is slow, there is cause for optimism. With efforts to address gender differences in pay and opportunities, there is hope that women in the future won’t have to wait until long to receive fair compensation.

Related: Why is the gender pay gap not closing?

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Could STEM be the key to narrowing the gender pay gap?