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Male/female pay gap shrinks

Why can't women be paid like men? In some areas they're getting close, but progress remains uneven.

According to the latest pay survey by Working Woman magazine, the salary gap is closing in areas such as academia, the sciences, and advertising.

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Female instructors at the doctoral level earn 94 cents for every dollar their male colleagues make. Female media directors make 90 cents for every dollar earned by male media directors - up 6 percent from last year. Women chief executives at mid-size ad firms actually earn $10,000 a year more than their male counterparts, the survey found.

But in law and cyberspace, pay remains 70 to 85 percent lower than it is for men. Female general surgeons have actually lost ground - from 90 percent in 1996 to 77 percent today.

And in professional sports? Forget it. The players of the Women's National Basketball Association average just $50,000 a year - far less than their male colleagues.

Women are making strides forming their own businesses, however. The number of women chief executives has doubled since 1987. They run 9.1 million companies, employ more than 27 million people, and rake in some $3.6 trillion in sales a year, according to the National Foundation for Women Business Owners.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society