Background: The gender pay gap in the United States (US) has narrowed over the last several decades, with the female/male earnings ratio in the US increased from about 60% before the 1980s to about 79% by 2014. However, the gender pay gap among the healthcare workforce persists. The objective of this study is to estimate the gender pay gap in the US federal governmental public health workforce during 2010–2018. Methods: We used an administrative dataset including annual pay rates and job characteristics of employees of the US Department of Health and Human Services. Employees’ gender was classified based on first names. Regression analyses were used to estimate the gender pay gap using the predicted gender. Results: Female employees of the DHHS earned about 13% less than men in 2010, and 9.2% less in 2018. Occupation, pay plan, and location explained more than half of the gender pay gap. Controlling for job grade further reduces the gap. The unexplained portion of the gender pay gap in 2018 was between 1.0 and 3.5%. Female employees had a slight advantage in terms of pay increase over the study period. Conclusions: While the gender pay gap has narrowed within the last two decades, the pay gap between female and male employees in the federal governmental public health workforce persists and warrants continuing attention and research. Continued efforts should be implemented to reduce the gender pay gap among the health workforce.
- Gender pay gap
- Health workforce
- Occupational segregation
- US Department of Health and Human Services
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Administration
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health