Study Finds That The Wage Gap Is Pretty, Pretty Bad In Media, Everywhere Else

The wage gap is a very real physical reminder of the patriarchy’s long, slimy finger spoking around where it doesn’t belong, but the good-ish news is that some industries have it better than others. The bad news? Media professionals —  including video game producers, writers, reporters, television personalities, television executives, movie executives and publishers — have it pretty, pretty bad.

A new study from Glassdoor reports on the wage gap between men and women for a variety of industries and honestly, unless you’re an aeronautics engineer or you work for the Parks department in wherever, it’s bleak. The industries in which we’re the closest to closing the wage gap are aerospace and defense and argiculture and forestry, each at 2.5 percent.  The highest wage gap is in the healthcare industry, at 7.2%, tied with insurance. Immediately following those two career paths are mining and metals (6.8%) and transportation and logistics (6.7%), with media and entertainment coming in at a cute 6.6% each.

These figures were calculated by adding together “the coefficient on male in the model and the coefficient on each industry’s male x industry interaction term.” Math was never my strong suit, but that seems both complicated and accurate and mostly, not very good.

What’s interesting to note is that the industries where the wage gap is the smallest are jobs that are very often government jobs, where salaries for different levels of experience are already predetermined and codified. These salaries are also public knowledge, making it easy for potential employees to figure out pretty quickly whether or not they’re being paid fairly. In the industries where the wage gap is the highest — but especially in media and entertainment — salary information is kept close to the chest and negotiations for what might be a fair rate are conducted with the confidence of a very hungover person trying to make it from their bedroom to the kitchen to get a glass of water.

Women need to be paid more for the work that they do and they need to be paid fairly. Asking early and often for equal compensation is not tacky, it’s a right. If you think the grubby dude in gingham sitting next to you is taking home more than he’s worth – and more than you’re currently making – ask. Keep asking. Ask some more. Keep asking. It’s your right.