A new report says female physicians are starting to catch up to their male counterparts.

The 2019 Physician Compensation Report is an annual study provided by Doximity, the largest community of healthcare professionals in the U.S. The report analyzes the changes in the wages of licensed U.S. physicians. The report is based on the responses of nearly 90,000 licensed U.S. doctors.

The report found that the gender pay gap between male and female physicians is improving. “In fact, financial compensation for men stagnated while female compensation grew by two percent” the report stated. “After years of examination, the gender wage gap is now demonstrating a downward trajectory, suggesting that the industry is moving toward equally compensating female physicians.”

However, female doctors still earned 25.2% less than their male counterparts in 2018, amounting to a gender pay difference of $90,000. That is the first time that difference has been below a six-figure salary gap, according to the report.

The report can be viewed here.

While the healthcare industry has seen an improvement in wage disparities across male and female physicians, the data demonstrates that there is a long way to go.

Other sectors of the healthcare industry face similar challenges, such as home health care. For example, Edgewood Manor OPCO LLC, a nursing home in Kansas City was recently sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for willfully paying male nurses more than a female nurse, violating the federal Equal Pay Act. The official EEOC press release stated, Maisha Hill, a licensed practical nurse (LPN) was hired in March 2017 by Edgewood Manor at the rate of $21 per hour. Two male LPNs performing the same job were paid $25 per hour.”

A recent report conducted by Paychex shows that the EEOC is making pay equity cases a high priority. The agency has resolved over 22% of the equal pay complaints it has received over 20 years, with activity increasing in the last several years. Of those cases, the average monetary benefits paid out per case was over $30,000, higher than any other class of discrimination pay out.

With the EEOC making pay discrimination a priority, employers should consider getting ahead of pay equity requirements by proactively undergoing a pay equity audit. Such an audit can help prevent negative PR, legal fees, back wages, and financial damages.

To learn more about achieving pay equity, click here.