Gender inequality typically permeates throughout all lines of work except one: Pharmacy.

Men once dominated in the 1960s, but now women pharmacists make up 55 percent of the industry, according to a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research. The fraction of female pharmacy school graduates has risen 51 percentage points to 65 percent since 1960.

Percent of pharmacists by gender

“The bottom line is that pharmacy is a family-friendly profession and one that is highly remunerated with a low gender earnings gap relative to the occupations of other college graduates,” NBER researchers said in the study. “We conclude that the changing nature of pharmacy employment with the growth large national pharmacy chains and hospitals and the related decline of independent pharmacies played key roles in the creation of a more family-friendly pharmacy profession.”

Female pharmacists are more likely to have families than in other professions, according to the study.

Fraction of females without children by their forties

Women without children by their forties in the pharmacy industry is about 21 percent compared to the 22.8 percent among other female graduates.

Labor force participation for women with a bachelor’s in pharmacy is 85.6 percent, while other college graduate women have an 81.5 percent rate.

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Workforce participation rates among women by degree

“In sum, the position of pharmacist is probably the most egalitarian of all professions in the U.S. today,” the NBER said in the study.


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