It's not equal yet, but it's a start. Josh Mitchell at The Wall Street Journal reports on Census data today that shows just how much more of a female presence exists in the fields of law and medicine: while in 1970 9.7 percent of lawyers and 4.9 percent of doctors were women, 2010 data shows that women account for 33.4 percent 42.4 percent of those fields, respectively. Puts progress in perspective, doesn't it? Female numbers rose in these higher-paying fields in the past decade, even though their share of overall jobs stayed static.
While this is by all accounts good news, what's not good news is that women in these fields are still being paid less than men. Mitchell explains that recent research shows gaps of $32,000 and $74,788 in law and medicine, respectively, which Harvard economist Lawrence Katz attributed to what Mitchell defines as "individual choices" like choosing to take time off to raise children, a small part of the gap is due to "unclear reasons." Katz also said that discrimination is a hard to define factor. Which, well, yeah.