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SF Gender Pay Gap

The biggest shifts in San Francisco were in legal, health care, and law enforcement occupations. 

For the most part, women in San Francisco make less than men working the same occupations. San Francisco's gender pay gap is slightly better than the United States as a whole, and during the past decade, the gap has improved for a few occupations. In law enforcement, women's pay has moved dramatically toward equity with men; and in health care support jobs, women now make significantly more than men. But for San Francisco's legal occupations, men have reaped a dramatic increase in pay over the last decade that women have not shared.

This chart shows the ratio of female over male median income for some of the most common occupations in San Francisco. The rest of this article will dive into the three key occupations with the biggest gaps—which are not always reflected in national data. 

—Paulina Phelps, Editor at LiveStories

Healthcare: Men's earnings dropped significantly compared to women's—shrinking the female wage gap

According to median earnings income data from the American Community Survey  men's median earnings in healthcare support positions dropped significantly from 27,125 in 2006-2010 (above what women make) to 21,929 in 2011-2015 (below what women make). While men's earnings dropped between these two time periods, women's earnings stayed about the same. 

As a result, health care support became one of the few in San Francisco where women make more than men.

Legal: Men's increased income widened the female wage gap 

The chart on the left reveals male median earnings for legal positions in San Francisco increased by almost $2,000, while women's decreased by around $4,000.

Men's increased median income in legal positions resulted in a larger female wage gap. The chart on the right illustrates this increase in the female wage gap in San Francisco over the years and this was not reflected on the national level. 

Law Enforcement: A change in women's income influenced the wage gap

As you can see in the graph to the left, between 2006-2010 and 2011-2015 women's earnings in law enforcement increased from $46,250 to $74,858, while men's only increased from $91,321 to $96,795. This increase in women's income lowered the wage gap for women from .50 in 2006-2010 to .77 between  2011-2015, making it about equal to the national level female wage gap. 

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About the Data

The data comes from the American Community Survey 5-year estimate data on “Sex by occupation and median earnings in the past 12 months.” The values are given in 2014 inflation-adjusted dollars. The data in this survey covers the civilian employed population, 16 years and over. Unless otherwise noted, figures are shown for the 5-year estimate spanning 2011-2015. 

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