Pharmacy lands high on gender-equality scale

According to a working paper published in the National Bureau of Economic Research Digest, the ratio of female-to-male pharmacist earnings represents one of the lowest gender wage gaps within health care to date.

In 1970, women pharmacists made only 66 percent of what male pharmacists made. In 2010, they earned 92 percent as much as their male counterparts. Currently, 55 percent of all pharmacists are women.

The study, conducted by Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz, attributes the closing of the gender wage gap in part to the decrease in independently owned pharmacies. With nationwide pharmacy companies providing millions of jobs for pharmacists, the self-employment rate for pharmacists has fallen to less than 5 percent in 2010.

Moreover, the reduction in implicit earnings penalties for those who work part-time has helped women, who tend to prefer flexible work hours during their child-rearing years.

Reviewing the changes of the last four decades, the researchers agree the occupation has become more “family-friendly and female-friendly, with higher earnings and a lower gender earnings gap than other fields.”

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