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ITHACA, NY – It’s not breaking news that in the past women were paid less for the same jobs as their male counterparts. However, a new study focusing on veterinarians shows that the pay gap among top earners in this area is reaching astounding levels. Cornell University researchers find that women in the top quarter of high-income veterinarians make about $ 100,000 less than men each year.
“Veterinarians can follow many paths in their careers, all of which have an impact on earnings potential,” says lead study author Dr. Clinton Neill in a university publication.
The study’s authors find that this gender pay gap in the veterinary industry is particularly noticeable among the youngest graduates. Female veterinarians moving into the upper half of the workforce also have difficulty keeping up with male colleagues.
“Similar to the world of human medicine, we found that the pay gap was larger at the start of their careers, but disappears after about 25 years. This has a big impact on wealth and lifelong income, as men will consequently have more wealth at the end of their careers, ”added the assistant professor in the Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostics.
The team examined various dimensions of running a veterinary practice while undergraduate, including income, experience, and specialty certification. As for why there is such a large pay gap between male and female veterinarians, the study’s authors admit they can’t say for sure. However, they speculate that a number of factors are at play, including societal expectations, unconscious biases, practice size, and funding.
Owning an animal practice does not help female veterinarians
The researchers find that more men own their own veterinary practices than female veterinarians. However, they claim that this finding does not justify the size of the pay gap.
The report finds that men even benefit from sharing a practice with others. For example, while a veterinarian makes more money by entering into a practice partnership than an individual office, researchers find that any form of ownership leads to a male veterinarian making more money. In addition, after fewer years of experience, male veterinarians typically make more money than women.
In conclusion, the authors of the study suggest that industry-wide income transparency can help close the gender pay gap.
The study appears in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.