Women working for the federal government earn less than men overall but the gap is shrinking, and most of the difference is the result of women being concentrated in lower-paying jobs with too few occupying the top ranks. It reflects the changing nature of federal employment: a shift away from occupations such as low-paying clerical jobs, disproportionately filled by women, and growth in higher-paying professional and administrative jobs that are increasingly held by women.
The Office of Personnel Management?s (OPM hereafter) study showed an overall gender pay gap for white-collar occupations of 12.7 percent in 2012, down from 19.8 percent in 2002 and 30 percent in 1992. However, some frustrating realities for women in government remain – e.g. agencies use special authorities to set higher starting salaries when hiring men than when hiring women.
Some of the disparity is based on occupation, the report said, adding that women receive promotions and performance-based increases slightly more frequently. Other factors that may be contributing to the pay gap include work experience, caregiving responsibilities, motivation and performance, which originates out from workplace and have deep social roots.