Gender Watch

Women entrepreneurs: If you thought your years of getting paid less than men for doing the same job were over once you started your own business, guess again. A recent study on the earnings of self-employed women found they earn much less than self-employed men. In fact, the pay gap between men and women who are self-employed is even larger than the gap between male and female employees (chart).

"Self-employment is not a way of escaping discrimination," says Edward G. Starr, senior economist at the Office of Economic Research at the Small Business Administration, which funded the study. Its title: Business Ownership as an Employment Opportunity for Women, by Steven Lustgarten.

The study also found that the more client contact required, (as in sales), the greater the earnings differential between men and women. "It highlights a source of discrimination that doesn't usually show up," says Starr.

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