How the “Manager Divide” Widens the Gender Wage Gap


Posted by: Chris

In 2016, women under the age of 40 earned an average of 82 cents for every $1 men within the same age range earned. This represented a minor increase over the prior year, giving many people hope that the wage gap was starting to close. But unfortunately, the wage gap widened once more in 2017. Last year, women under the age of 40 earned an average of 79 cents for every $1 a man earned.

There are many possible explanations for the widening of the wage gap, but one popular theory is the manager divide. Here’s what you need to know about the link between the manager divide and the wage gap:

What is the Manager Divide?

The manager divide is a term used to describe the underrepresentation of women in managerial positions. Research has shown that men and women in their 20s are typically promoted at equal rates, however men are more likely to land in manager roles. Since managers tend to earn more than other employees, this could explain why working men earn more on average than working women.

There’s no reason to think that men are promoted into managerial roles because they outperform women. In fact, studies have shown that women are 22% more likely than men to earn a top performance ranking at work. Many experts believe that the actual cause of the divide is motherhood. Women are far more likely than men to take on the majority of parental responsibilities and take time off to care for their children. The demands of motherhood impact women’s careers, which could explain why fewer women are promoted into managerial positions.

How to Close the Manager Divide

Experts believe that offering parental leave to fathers could close the manager divide. A study conducted earlier this year found that maternity leave generally has a negative impact on a woman’s career progression. However, this negative impact is completely eliminated if both men and women are encouraged to take parental leave.

Encouraging both men and women to take parental leave would level the playing field and narrow the manager divide. If the manager divide were to completely close, it’s estimated that the wage gap would narrow by about 33%. This wouldn’t completely resolve the issue of unequal pay, but it would be a huge step in the right direction.

The Equal Pay Act requires employers to pay men and women fairly. If your right to fair pay is violated, it’s important to contact Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Our experienced attorneys will fight to recover the compensation you deserve from your employer. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.