Women’s Pay More Equal to Men in Social Work | Social Workers Speak

This morning, I found this promising article that reported that women "only" make 2% less than men in the field of social work. While initially encouraging, I was reminded of some articles I've read in the past that stated otherwise.

After some searching, I found an old NASW press release and Social Workers Speak article that criticized the fact that Payscale only collected data from bachelors of social work majors. They referred readers to the National Association of Social Workers Compensation and Benefits Study, which provided a more accurate picture of social worker salaries since it included data from masters of social work graduates.

Unfortunately, this NASW study shows that the median salary of female social workers is $11,000 lower than male social workers ($53,000 and $64,000, respectively). This difference is significantly higher than 2%. One can only speculate why the gender pay disparity increases so much between bachelors and masters graduates. However, we do know that much work still needs to be done within the profession to reduce and ultimately eliminate this inequality.

Women’s Pay More Equal to Men in Social Work | Social Workers Speak


  1. Wow, this is really alarming. Of course inequality between men and women continues to exist, and will probably continue for some time. However, it is especially surprising to know that it exists in this field of work that is suppose to help improve the quality of life of an individual or group. This example serves to show how society has a long way to go...

    1. Hi Marisa,

      I definitely feel that improvements to the social work field have to come from within. If we are to better serve our clients and fight for social justice, we definitely need to resolve these internal issues such as gender pay disparity, low wages, and high burnout rates. Us social workers definitely need to create a stronger foundation on which we can support those we serve!

      Thank you so much for visiting and commenting! Hope you come back again soon!

  2. I just do not understand why women get paid less than men when it comes to social work. It is shocking how society handles these sorts of things and I think it pretty strange how they can get away with it. Times have changed so much, which is pretty obvious, and yet there are still things like this that floats around in society, making equality seem like a thing of the past.. Again, shocking.


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