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​11 jobs where women face the biggest pay gap

Women are still lagging men when it comes to earning an equal wage, but some occupations are even more unequal than others.

The following 11 professions had the biggest wage gap between men and women among more than 300 occupations tracked by the U.S. Census Bureau. These wages reflect earnings for full-time workers ages 16 and up that were recorded in 2013. Across all occupations, women working full-time earned 79 cents for every $1 earned by men also holding down full-time jobs.

What may be surprising is that the biggest income gaps aren't in especially high-income jobs such as CEO, where women still face a glass ceiling. Instead, they tend to be solid middle-class professions, although many have historically been dominated by men. Indeed, the financial sector represents six out of the 11 jobs on the list, signaling that this field has a long way to go until women reach parity.

To be sure, the numbers don't break down how men and women with equal work experience and educational attainment compare. Still, the data provide some insight into where women face the biggest struggles to gain parity.

Interestingly, some fields that were traditionally dominated by men have reached near-equity between the genders. For instance, the pay gap for legislators has reached 91%, meaning that women earn 91 cents for every $1 earned by their male counterparts. This demonstrates that traditionally male occupations can overcome a history of gender imbalance.

Read on to find out the 11 occupations where women suffer from the biggest gender pay gap.

​11. Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers


Women in this field just aren't as precious as their male co-workers, given that they earn just 67.6 cents for every $1 men earn.

The annual median earnings for women working as jewelers were $24,657 in 2013, compared with $36,494 for men, according to Census data.

This occupation also tends to be dominated by men, with the Census finding that men account for 70 percent of the roughly 26,900 people employed in the field. But aren't women more likely to be jewelry makers than men? Just a quick glance of Etsy, where legions of women sell their hand-made jewelry, would seem to suggest that.

In reality, many areas of this occupation have been dominated by men for generations, such as the diamond industry.

10. Photographic process workers and processing machine workers


Here's a snapshot of an industry with a big wage disparity: Women in this field earn just 66.9 cents for every $1 a man earns.

The occupation, which includes film and digital media, is more evenly balanced between men and women workers than the jewelry industry. Men make up 55 percent of the workforce in the photographic processing industry.

On an annual median basis, men are taking home $31,888, while women are earning just $21,348.

​9. Insurance sales agents

Jennifer A. Steck/iStockphoto

Are you in good hands? You might not be if you're a woman working as an insurance sales agent.

Women in this field earn just 66.9 cents for every $1 earned by their male counterparts. That means men's annual median salary is $61,639, while women are pulling in only $41,250 per year.

Women now make up 45 percent of all insurance sales agents, the Census found.

Gender pay disparities are often high in fields that rely on sales commissions, according to the Institute for Women's Policy Research. The group said that while women work just as hard, they are often handed lower-earning accounts or shunted out of the departments with big commissions.

​8. Credit counselors and loan officers


Women just aren't given as much credit in this field, where they earn just 66.5 cents for every $1 men earn.

Interestingly, women are the majority of workers in this occupation, filling 55 percent of the jobs. Yet the median annual income for a woman working as a credit counselor or loan officer is $46,394, while their male counterparts pull in $69,726 per year.

There's also some evidence that women make better loan officers than men. Research finds that loans handled by women loan officers had lower default rates than those managed by men. Still, when it comes to pay, women in this field are underperforming.

​7. Production, planning and expediting clerks


These clerks distribute work orders between a company's departments, and make sure companies have needed materials on hand. While it may once have been a traditional male job, today more than 56 percent of workers in the field are women.

But pay is far from expedited for women in this occupation, given that they earn just 66 cents for every $1 men earn. That means that while their male counterparts earn a median salary of $56,437, women are bringing home only $37,246.

​6. First line supervisors of housekeepers and janitorial workers


Women aren't cleaning up in this profession.

Women supervising cleaning staff earn just 65.2 cents for every $1 men earn. On an annual basis, men working in this role earn $41,180. Women, on the other hand, earn a median salary of $28,860.

This still remains a male-dominated occupation, with women only making up one-third of its workers.

​5. Financial managers


Women in this field earn only 63.6 cents for every $1 male counterparts earn.

While women are tipping the sales at holding 53 percent of all jobs in this profession, they're far from making parity: Women who are financial managers make a median annual income of $57,404. Their male co-workers, meanwhile, earn $90,278 each year.

The gender gap in the financial industry is particularly egregious, according to Institutional Investor magazine. One reason is that women often fail to get promoted to executive-level roles, while some may face challenges with balancing work and family.

​4. Financial analysts


The analysis on this profession shows a profound gap, with women earning just 63.4 cents for every $1 men earn.

That means women in the field have median annual income of $63,424, while men earn $100,081. Women are still a minority of financial analysts, holding just one-third of the jobs in this occupation.

​3. Financial clerks


Women who are financial clerks earn just 62.2 cents for every $1 men earn.

That's despite that fact that 60 percent of all financial clerks are women. Annual median earnings for women in the field are $42,122, while men pull in $67,732.

​2. Insurance underwriters


Insurance underwriters who are women take home 61.5 cents for every $1 men earn.

About two-thirds of all insurance underwriters are now women, who pull in a solid middle-class annual income of $60,369. Still, that pales in comparison to the annual median earnings for male insurance underwriters, at $98,129.

​1. Farmers, ranchers & other agricultural managers


Women who are farmers and ranchers face the biggest pay gap out of all the professions measured by the Census, at 60.7 cents for every $1 their male counterparts earn.

While female farmers are just as efficient as male farmers, other factors are at work, according to the U.N. Women farmers, for instance, are likely to have smaller farms, which could reduce their earnings.

Women are still a minority in this field, representing only one out of 10 farmers and ranchers, according to the Census.

Farmers and ranchers who are women earn $25,310 per year, while male counterparts earn a median annual income of $41,691.

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