#8. Physical scientists

- 1995 wage gap: women earned 71 cents for every dollar earned by men

- 1995 workers: 24,172 men, and 11,208 women

- 2021 wage gap: women earned 104 cents for every dollar earned by men

- 2021 workers: 90,158 men, and 91,024 women

- Change in wage gap 1995-2021: decreased by 25.2 cents on the dollar

Physical scientists include environmental scientists, physicists, chemists, astronomers, and Earth scientists. Like many science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, the physical sciences are historically male-dominated and, in the case of many institutions—including government agencies—keep women from the profession by sidestepping rules of hiring that were designed to create equity. A 2019 study from the American Journal of Sociology revealed that seven agencies—the National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Agriculture, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Department of Energy—continue to pay women less than men for the same work, though the wage gap has decreased significantly over the last two decades. The persistence of these issues even within federal institutions suggests there is a long way to go before parity is achieved. Discrimination continues to be a problem for people of color in STEM, with a 2018 Pew Research study finding 44% of Asians, 42% of Hispanics, and 62% of Black people in STEM have experienced discrimination at work.

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