"Are women discriminated against in the workplace? Looking at the data, women on average earn an annual wage that is approximately 75% that of men, which many people believe is the result of discrimination. However, when Prof. Steve Horwitz analyzes the data more closely, he finds that women make certain choices, such as career selection and raising children, which tend to result in lower wages than men. These choices could be the result of personal preferences or sexist cultural expectations for women's work, though the relative influence of these two factors remains unclear."
Another factor that can explain some of the "gender wage gap" is the huge "gender occupational fatality gap." Last year, men were 12 times more likely than women to get killed on the job, see the chart below and read my post today about this topic on the Enterprise Blog. More men than women are willing to work in high-risk occupations, with both higher wages and a higher chance of workplace-related injury or death, which can help explain some of the disparity in wages by gender.