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Do Women in Real Estate Earn 40% Less Than Men?

by Peter Thomas Ricci

The “wage gap” is among the more prominent topics in gender equality, and new Census Bureau numbers suggest real estate has an issue with the topic.

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The “wage gap,” which addresses the difference in pay that men and women receive for the same work, has been a prominent rallying cry among feminists and social activists alike – and the latest numbers from the Census Bureau suggest that real estate plays quite a role in the topic.

Though women today make, on average, 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, real estate-related professions, which includes jobs in real estate, property and community associations, are actually the worst in the nation in terms of the wage gap, with women earning just 60.6 percent of what men earn; other divergent professions include financial managers (65.9 percent) and marketing and sales managers (67.9 percent). According to Sarah Jane Glynn of the Center for American Progress, women earn more than men in just seven of the 534 occupations tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Though those numbers do seem horrible, we should point out one hopeful caveat: the numbers do not necessarily reflect all of real estate. After all, agents are independent contractors whose salaries are largely commission-based, and their income, therefore, derives from how many hours they decide to put into their businesses and how many home sales ensue. And according to the latest numbers from NAR, 56 percent of Realtors are sales agents, so the majority of real estate professionals work along those lines. On the other hand, brokers and broker associates make up 45 percent of Realtors, and women account for 52 percent of brokers and 63 percent of sales agents.

Check out our infographic below for additional perspective on the topic, and let us know in the comments section what you think about the numbers.

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