To explore the role of various factors in the wage gap between male and female veterinarians in the United States in 2016 and 2017.
2,760 veterinarians across the United States.
Data from the Census of Veterinarians Survey administered by the AVMA Economics Division in 2016 and 2017 were analyzed. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov 2-sample test was used to determine whether a difference existed between male and female income distributions at various levels of experience. Quantile regression was performed separately for male and female respondents to determine the direct effects of individual factors on incomes and compare the effects of practice ownership versus nonownership on income.
Income distributions of men and women were unequal at lower experience ranges but equal at higher experience ranges. Income increased for men with each additional year of experience and with practice ownership. For women, practice owners in the lowest income quantile had a negative return to income; overall, their income benefited most from ownership in the form of partnerships. For certain groups, incomes of both genders were lower when they had absences from the workforce.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Findings suggested that the largest source of gender income disparity for veterinarians was attributable to female practice owners earning less than their male counterparts. Indeed, women earned more from specialty certifications than from owning a clinic. To decrease income disparities between genders, ways should be identified to support women-owned practices and promote equal pay.