Across the industrialized world, queer women earn – on average – nine percent more money than straight women. Here’s why.
Queer Women Earn More By Working More
According to a 2015 meta-analysis of 31 studies conducted from 1995 to 2012, lesbians essentially earn more by working more.
Crucially, lesbians tend to not have children and therefore are freer to work more. Not opting to work part-time or take a few years off to have kids during the prime working years is a big boost to any career.
It is noteworthy that lesbians earn more even though they face more discrimination when applying for work.
Queer Women Enter Better-Paying, Male-Dominated Fields
Lesbians tend to enter male-dominated fields at a higher rate than straight women. And, importantly, these fields pay more than female-dominated professions like teaching and nursing.
The take away is that lesbians in general are less constrained by gender expectations than straight women. They still, however, earn less than men – both gay and straight.
Being a Partnered Queer Woman Has Benefits
In a new UK study, partnered lesbians were found to earn more than partnered heterosexual women. This is true even when controlling for factors such as education and location. Unpartnered lesbians, on the other hand, earn about the same as unpartnered straight women.
In fact, lesbians who had in the past lived with or been married to a male partner continued to earn less later in life – much like married women.
Many theorists have noted that marriages only have room for so much ambition. Usually a straight partnership tends to align itself to support one partner’s career over the other’s. Furthermore, it’s very hard to completely leave behind age old notions that the woman’s role is to support and take care of her husband. And even when they successfully do, the burden of running a household tends to fall disproportionately on the woman’s shoulders nevertheless.
In contrast, lesbian partnerships are more often configured for mutual cooperation in the pursuit of dual careers.
Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren has expressed a desire to address the dynamics between women and men that lead to such inequality in heterosexual couples. She has expressed her own frustration with trying to both practice law and rear children at the same time. Though she’s not gay, she did have the support of a good woman. An aunt moved in to help with the kids so Warren could focus on career. Now the Senator is proposing remedies to even the playing field.
7 High Earning Queer Women in Entertainment
- Madonna is worth about $325 million.
- Ellen de Generes earned $87.5 million in 2018. She’s worth $275 million.
- Miley Cyrus earned about $15 million on The Voice. Her net worth is estimated at $200 million.
- Rosie O’Donnell made about $5 million per year on The View and is worth about $120 million.
- Jodie Foster is worth about $100 million.
- Cynthia Nixon is worth about $60 million. On Sex and the City she made over $325,000 per episode.
- Whoopi Goldberg is worth about $50 million. She has also earned about $5 million per year on The View.
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Last modified: October 24, 2019