Study Examines How Religion Impacts the Gender Pay Gap in the United States and Worldwide

Dr. Sitzmann

A study by Traci Sitzmann, a professor of management at the University of Colorado Denver and Elizabeth Campbell an assistant professor in the School of Management at the University of Minnesota, finds that religion may be a significant factor in the worldwide gender pay gap.

The authors’ research analyzed the gender wage gap across 140 countries worldwide. They found that in countries where religion is a major factor in the daily lives of the population of a particular country, women earned on average 46 percent of what men earned. In countries where religion is not as important in the daily lives of the population as a whole, women earned on average 75 percent of the earnings of men. They found that this relationship existed for all the world’s major religions.

In a separate analysis of all 50 U.S. states, the research found that the gender wage gap is narrowing significantly faster in the more secular states. The authors speculate that religion may play a major role in the wage gap due to:

  • Women being relegated to domestic roles focused on caregiving and discouraged from participating in the workforce
  • Greater tolerance for the sexualization and sexual victimization of women
  • Women being less likely to be accepted in leadership positions.

Dr. Campbell

Dr. Sitzmann, the lead author of the study, joined the faculty at the University of Colorado Denver in 2010. She is a graduate of Iowa State University, where she majored in psychology. Dr. Sitzman holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology from the University of Tulsa.

Dr. Campbell joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 2014. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where she majored in psychology. She holds a Ph.D. in organizational behavior and human resources management from the University of Maryland College Park.

The study, “The Hidden Cost of Prayer: Religiosity and the Gender Wage Gap,” was published on the website of the Academy of Management Journal. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply