A drug developer working on a drug for a disease like COVID-19 has the same salary as a pharmacist who has just completed a clinical trial.
That means they’re getting paid the same amount of money every time, even if the results are mixed.
It’s called the “equivalence gap.”
It’s a big problem for people in the pharmaceutical industry.
According to the Institute for Research on Human Development, the gap is a major contributor to pay disparities between male and female drug developers.
The pay gap also disproportionately affects women.
The median salary for a pharma-developer is $100,000 a year, according to a study by the McKinsey Global Institute.
That’s higher than for anyone else in the field, including for other medical professions.
The research found that women in the biotech field made just 73 cents for every dollar earned by a male pharmacist.
“The gender pay gap is really, really large,” says Anne Sussman, a senior vice president for the National Women’s Law Center and author of The Pay Gap Myth: How We’re Winning the War on Women and Girls.
But the gap isn’t confined to drug developers: For every 10 people in a job category that includes health care professionals, the median salary is just $28,000.
“There’s a huge gap between people who are being paid what they’re paid, and people who aren’t,” says Sussmann.
“It’s a really pervasive problem.”
The Equivalence Gap While the Equivalency Gap isn’t a new phenomenon, it’s still an issue in pharmaceutical development.
The gap isn, however, bigger for women than for men.
“I think it’s just a bigger problem for women because the women’s role is more likely to be in leadership and administration, in product development, in clinical trials,” says Karen Schreiner, who is an associate professor of economics at the University of Michigan.
The Equivalent Gap has a lot to do with discrimination, says Sargeant, the McKinley researcher.
It doesn’t have to do much with pay, because a lot of companies are paying women salaries at comparable or even higher levels than men.
But it does have to with culture.
When women get promoted, their roles are expected to be lower.
That may not always be the case, but it’s definitely the case in many industries.
“When a woman is promoted in pharma, it tends to be through her position in the board or her board of directors,” Sargeon says.
“That’s usually an opportunity for her to make money and then be rewarded with higher pay for her achievement.”
It may seem counterintuitive to compare women to men, but that’s exactly what happens when you have a gender-equity policy in place.
In a world of gender equality, it is no surprise that women earn more than men in every field.
“We’ve seen over the years that women’s pay has risen dramatically over the past 30 years, but the pay gap has been increasing,” says Schreiners.
That doesn’t mean the pay disparities are fixed, says Schubert.
“Women are more likely than men to have lower-paying jobs and less-paying job roles, and that’s going to continue,” she says.
The gender pay gaps aren’t just in pharmas.
In industries like health care, Sargean says, there are many other industries where women are paid more than their male counterparts.
“For instance, we’re not talking about nursing home employees, we are not talking only about salespeople, we even are not including in this analysis the women who work in insurance and pension systems, and we are certainly not including women in banking or finance,” she explains.
Women are often paid more for similar jobs, like nurses or housekeepers, than their counterparts who are also men.
Women in other industries are paid less than their female counterparts for similar positions, and in some cases even less.
“You have to remember that the pay differential is just one of many ways in which the workplace is biased toward women,” Sussmans says.
It also isn’t just about gender.
Women tend to earn less when they’re working in certain types of fields, like science and engineering, which have a higher average salary.
This is particularly true for women who are women and people of color.
“This is a systemic problem that is perpetuated in the workplace,” says Amy McElroy, an associate director for research at the Center for American Progress.
“Because of all of the barriers to advancement and access to opportunity that are there in the workforce, women of color are also at higher risk for job discrimination.”
A Change in Culture It’s not only the pay disparity that is at the root of the pay inequality, but also the culture.
The equilateral gap has gotten so big in some industries that many have adopted a policy to compensate women more than they compensate their male colleagues.
For example, when a new