Patheos: Researchers Say Religion Makes the Gender Wage Gap Worse

04 Nov 2020
Research published in AOM Journal shows that the more religious an employer is, the greater its gender wage gap.

Originally found at Patheos, by Hemant Mehta.

We know there’s a gender wage gap: Women make less money than men, even when doing the same kind of work.

The exact amount is up for debate, depending on how you want to parse it. Explanations for the gap include how women go into different lines of work, how they might accept lower wages in exchange for other kinds of benefits, and (of course) how there exists flat-out discrimination.

But how does religion factor into that gap?

Two researchers, Dr. Traci Sitzmann (University of Colorado Denver Business School) and Dr. Elizabeth Campbell (University of Minnesota), have just published a paper in the Academy of Management Journal digging into that question, and they found that the more religious a place is, the greater its gender wage gap.

Just consider nations as a whole: In countries where at least 95% of the people say religion is a daily part of their lives, “women earned 46% as much as men.” But when religion was important to less than 20% of the population, women earned 75% of men’s salaries. (Not great. But definitely better.)

What about U.S. states? Using previously published data, Sitzmann and Campbell knew that the gender wage gap has decreased over the past decade — likely as people in power were pressured to correct the problem. But when the researchers grouped the states from most to least religious, it became clear that the more religious states had worse gaps to begin with. And over time, those states closed their gender wage gaps a lot less than the more secular states.

Continue reading the original article at Patheos.

Read the original research in Academy of Management Journal.

Learn more about the AOM Scholars and explore their work:

Traci Sitzmann, University of Colorado Denver

Elizabeth M. Campbell, University of Minnesota