Men hold almost all primary positions in the most profitable households, and the glass ceiling that prevents women from developing at work is more extensive than previously thought.
"Our results show that men control the bulk of household income in the highest percentage of income distribution in the US," Yavorski said. "This is important because members of one percent have a great political, economic and social power and influence in our society.If men are mostly those who control these resources, men and not women exercise the majority of power and influence, who come with being in these households. "
The survey "Women in One Percent: Gender Dynamics in the Top Profits" was included in the February issue of American Sociological Reviewthe leading newspaper of the American Sociological Association. Yavorski is an assistant professor in the Sociology and Doctoral Program in Organizational Sciences at UNC Charlotte. Her co-authors are Lisa Caseter of Duke University, Yue Kian of the University of British Columbia, and Michael Nau of the State University of Ohio.
The new study uses the Consumer Finance Survey (SCF) from 1995 to 2016 to analyze income models by gender at one percent. To qualify for the highest household rate, the authors estimate that a household must bring a total of $ 845,000. Scientists' calculations by the SCF for 2016 also show that the highest percentage of households receive almost a quarter of all US revenue, further emphasizing the importance of studying this group.
While the highest percentage has gained more scientific and media attention in recent years, few studies have taken into account whether the income of men or women is primarily responsible for moving households to one percent. Research is also scarce about whether women have access to their own pathways to obtain one percent of their status based on their own income.
This new study shows that women's income is sufficient for just one percent of the status of only 5% of all elite households. In addition, women's income is needed to push one household above the one-percent threshold in only 15% of all households by one percent. In other words, the income of women is to a large extent insignificant in most of these households for one percent.
"It is widely documented that most US income since the late 1970s has reached the highest percentage of households," the researchers said in his article. "However, if women's incomes are trivial in most of these households, as our results show, the increasing inequality is largely due to a small group of men's incomes that are disproportionately higher than everyone else."
It is important to note that the survey also shows that the gender gap in one-percent personal income has not diminished since mid-late 90's. This means that women's progress on this issue is stagnant and women are no closer to the income at an elite level today than they were two decades ago.
"We know that women are confronted with many barriers reaching top leadership and executive positions," Yavorski said. "However, we did not know the extent to which women were excluded from higher income, and earlier studies of the glass ceiling really saw women being removed from leadership positions." This study shows that the glass ceiling is wider than we supposed it extends to almost all elite positions, even to self-employment.
In particular, previous studies have found that self-employment and higher education are two important factors that increase people's chances of earning extremely high incomes. While the findings of Yavorski and her colleagues show that higher education and self-employment increase the likelihood of women reaching one percent of their own income, "Higher education and self-employment are not enough to bypass the institutionalized barriers to achieving the status of "Yavorski said instead, their results show that women most often enter a percentage of households by marriage by gaining access to their spouse's income.
Meanwhile, thanks to the advantages of the male labor market, the percentage of men per one percent is most closely related to their own characteristics, especially with their own self-employment and higher education.
Yavorski has several reasons to explain these results. Women are less inclined to find themselves in highly paid areas dominated by men, such as elite finance and real estate, and are less likely to reach the highest positions in corporate America where earnings are especially concentrated.
"Women also experience a number of barriers to self-employment," she said. "And once they become self-employed or start their own businesses, they experience additional gender-based obstacles to develop their business. Such growth may otherwise enable them to earn high incomes. For example, previous research shows that women are experiencing greater difficulties in securing bank loans and venture capital financing for their businesses than men, resulting in a huge disadvantage for female entrepreneurs.
As a researcher who studies economic inequalities, Yavorski states that this latest study does not mean that women in a percentage of households are marginalized and discouraged. "They are benefiting from many different social and economic benefits than being in a percentage of households," she said. "However, the wider implications of this study show that women probably do not have the essential status and authority in these households that have significant policy implications for the allocation of economic resources."