A new report reveals gay women are more likely to earn more than heterosexual women. But why is that?
The gender pay gap is one of the most consistent indicators of gender inequality – after all, you can’t ignore concrete data, even if you’re a total sexist pig / Donald Trump. However, new research has revealed that lesbians earn more than heterosexual women.
Based on personal information provided by over 10,000 people, it was revealed that on average, gay women earned 33% more than the straight women surveyed. But the reasons behind the results aren’t straightforward: the sample surveyed admitted to working approximately 20 per cent more hours.
One of the researchers behind the report, Professor Mark Wooden, revealed: “One explanation for the increased earnings and longer work hours of lesbians might be that this group are less likely to have children than heterosexual women.”
However despite the data showing increased earnings for homosexual women, gay men are revealed to earn less than straight men. So why are lesbians earning more within an environment that is proven to discriminate against both women and gay people?
Well, it looks like it largely comes down to childcare (yet again). In heterosexual relationships, childcare still seems to be firmly set as a woman’s responsibility. Whereas in a same-sex female relationship, the weight of childcare won’t just be placed on “the mother”, because there are two.
Experts have also argued that many lesbians are not only free from the expectation that their career should take a backseat to their male partners, but they’re also less likely to experience an unplanned pregnancy – thus not interrupting their chances of being promoted within the workplace.
But it’s not all to do with motherhood. The study also revealed that lesbian women receive the fewest interviews for traditionally female-dominated occupations, which is obvious discrimination within itself, however this (supposedly) could guide gay women towards more male-dominated industries – where wages are typically higher (there’s some more discrimination for you).
And it gets worse. Despite earning more on average than straight women, lesbians are far more likely to live below the poverty line than straight women, and older gay women, lesbians of colour and lesbians who are raising children are particularly at risk. And despite earning more as individuals, when a couples’ wages are combined – lesbian pairings come out worse than anyone else, suggesting that while they earn more than straight women, they still earn considerably less than heterosexual men.
Which really isn’t OK, is it?