In a report published by the Washington Post, researchers have discovered a wage gap between straight and gay women in what they call the “lesbian wage premium”.
Marieka Klawitter, professor of public policy at the University of Washington, found that lesbians earn on average 9% more than straight women.
And on top of Klawitter’s study of 29 published reports, the University of Nevada found that lesbians who had at some point in their lives lived with male partners earned 20% less than those who hadn’t.
And the reason why, according to Klawitter, comes down to outdated gender dynamics.
“A woman in a heterosexual relationship may not work because the man’s salary is higher, or paying for child care costs more than she earns,” she says.
“This all snowballs into, ‘Other women stay home — shouldn’t I?’”
Klawitter reckons that straight women suffer from deep-rooted attitudes towards women in the workplace in a way that lesbians simply don’t.
She thinks that lesbians, who may not see themselves as future mothers and are perceived as having similar life goals and work habits to men, subsequently get paid in line with male wages.
According to Klawitter, as long as women in heterosexual relationships add to their workload with domestic chores and childcare, their careers will continue to suffer — resulting in the “lesbian wage premium”.
You can see the full report at the Washington Post.