Men in the “creative class” make nearly twice as much as women

That staggering stat comes from a new study explored in the Atlantic on the rise of women in the creative class.

graph on pay gap in creative class
Click for larger image.

Now, members of the “creative class” have it pretty nice. They have jobs that pay 60% more than average and that they’re less likely to lose during this unemployment crisis. Women in the creative class, who make an average of $48,077, are doing a lot better than many other people. But they are also making a whole $33,932 less on average than their male counterparts. Even controlling for differences in hours worked and education, men out-earn women by $23,700 or 49.2 percent in the creative class.

The study also broke the data down by occupation–and found that women make significantly less than men across all fields. Interestingly, the gap was largest in fields where women outnumbered men, like health care and law, and smallest in male-dominated fields, such as architecture, engineering, and computer and mathematical occupations.

So I guess maybe go into computer science, ladies? And today the Atlantic is breaking down how creative class women do in different states, so you can decided where to move after getting that fancy education. If you play your cards right, maybe your paycheck will only be $8,000 less than your male peers!

Atlanta, GA

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director in charge of Editorial at Feministing. Maya has previously worked at NARAL Pro-Choice New York and the National Institute for Reproductive Health and was a fellow at Mother Jones magazine. She graduated with a B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. A Minnesota native, she currently lives, writes, edits, and bakes bread in Atlanta, Georgia.

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Editorial.

Read more about Maya

Join the Conversation

  • Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

    Whatever claims this makes, tons of artists I know have horror stories about having to chase down fees, being expected to work for free (or “exposure”, big wow), having shows shut down, having material seized in other countries customs (hell, sometimes this), clients constantly expecting fees to be negotiated, being hit up for cash or other “services” in exchange for press by unscrupulous journalists, being dropped unceremoniously by publishers in lieu of what they predict will be the next big “trend”. I’ve bought art at at least one DIY fundraiser by an artist who found herself with a medical bill & no insurance, I myself have at one point asked for sales specifically to pay a mental hospital bill…if members of the “creative class” “have it pretty nice”, when’s that gonna trickle down to the folks who are, I dunno, actually CREATIVE?

    • Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

      P.S. – we’re less likely to “lose jobs” in tough economic times? Wait’ll I tell the illustrators I know who have watched assignments decline as the print industry folds, while many websites use either stock graphics or pay significantly less.

      • Steven Olson

        Jenny, the original article is very poor, as it doesn’t actually say what is meant by the creative class, but from the graphs they show, it seems to me that the author means “college educated”. They talk about industries, and among others, talk about the legal industry and math and science, neither of which I would consider to be creative in the artistic sense.

  • Steven Olson

    I hate these wage gap studies so much! They are done so poorly. With out controlling for seniority, or years in that profession, those gaps are completely meaningless. You need to have it binned for seniority because I can guarantee you, that in any of those professions the wage gap between those who have been on the job for 20 years will be different than those for 2 years. It would also be useful to see that data as it will show how quickly the wage gap is closing. It probably will never close for people who have been in the workforce for decades, but if we can get it to zero for new graduates (and keep it there), then eventually, after a generation there would be no wage gap, even when seniority was not controlled for.