It's an oft-bemoaned fact that generally speaking, U.S. women tend to earn less than their male counterparts. Not only does a real wage gap exist across a wide range of industries, but it also tends to widen for women 45 and older -- which also explains why women tend to have less money than men in retirement. In fact, a 2016 report by Glassdoor, which analyzed salary data for more than 500,000 distinct roles, found that women earn only $0.76 for every dollar their male counterparts take in.
On the other hand, there are a number of industries where women tend to do better than men. Here are some roles where women are able to command higher compensation.
1. Social worker
Though becoming a social worker typically requires a certain set of credentials or a degree, there's a pay gap in this arena, and it benefits women. Female social workers earn close to 8% more than male social workers, on average, so that for every dollar a male social worker makes, a woman will get $1.08.
The role of a merchandiser is typically to promote specific products or services. And clearly, women tend to excel in this profession, because female merchandisers earn close to $1.08 for every dollar their male colleagues earn.
3. Research assistant
Though the term "research assistant" can apply in a variety of contexts, from pharmaceuticals to retail, the gist of the role is that it's based in data analysis. Female research assistants earn nearly $1.07 for every dollar men earn with the same job.
4. Purchasing specialist
A purchasing specialist is usually tasked with buying supplies that allow a business to operate, whether it's paper clips for an office or cookware for a restaurant. Women who work in this role earn just under $1.06 for every dollar men earn.
5. Physician advisor
Physician advisors are responsible for ensuring that medical practices and providers adhere to certain regulations and codes. Female physician advisors tend to slightly out-earn men, bringing home a little more than $1.02 for every dollar their male counterparts make.
6. Communications associate
That women are said to be good communicators seems to be paying off ever so slightly. Women who work as communications associates generally earn $1.02 for every dollar men earn.
7. Social-media professional
It's not just bored millennials who use social media. These days, a growing number of businesses are using social media to grow their brands and connect with consumers. And women who make a living on social media tend to earn $1.02 for every dollar their male colleagues take in.
8. Health educator
The role of a health educator is generally to teach others how to live well and maximize their health. A health educator might work in a school, hospital, or other setting. While the wage gap among health educators isn't huge, women earn about a penny more on the dollar than men.
9. Procurement specialist
Those who work in procurement are responsible for purchasing items for businesses and negotiating with vendors. The wage gap here is small as well, but women earn just under $1.01 for every dollar male procurement specialists make.
10. Business coordinator
A business coordinator can cover a lot of ground, depending on the specifics of the role, from purchasing to billing matters. Female business coordinators earn less than a penny more on the dollar than men, but they still have a very slight edge.
No matter what industry you work in, as a female employee, it's critical to understand how your compensation stacks up with respect to your male counterparts. Though many people like to chalk the wage gap up to a mere media fabrication, there's a ton of data out there validating the claim that women traditionally earn less than men.
Sure, there are always outliers, but if you're looking to protect yourself from a financial standpoint, do your research to make sure you're being adequately paid, and don't hesitate to fight for a raise if you come to find that this isn't the case. In an ideal world, gender wouldn't play a role in matters like compensation and promotions, but until the workforce adopts a more equitable mentality, you shouldn't hesitate to be your own advocate.