Hire Heroes Report finds wage gap widened for women veterans, military spouses

2019 data shows male veterans and military spouses made $12,127 more in average starting salary

Veteran nonprofit organization Hire Heroes USA found that women face a different reality when seeking employment after completing military service compared to men. The data was published and released Monday in the third annual Hire Heroes Report, a comprehensive review of employment data for transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses. 
We reaffirmed that starting salaries for female veterans and military spouses were lower compared to men. In 2019, male military members earned 17.42% more on average in the civilian workforce compared to women military members. Across all populations groups we surveyed, male Hire Heroes USA clients made 22.73% more on average compared to women, an increase of 1.75% from 2018 data.
“Since our first Hire Heroes Report, we’ve identified pay disparities based on gender and have been working to gain a greater understanding of the causes of those disparities,” said Hire Heroes USA Director of Program Operations and Evaluation Jason Dozier. “Unfortunately, that gap continues to widen, but we feel like we have a better understanding of which factors are creating those challenges, and what we can do as an organization to better prepare our female clients for success in the civilian workforce.”
While the report found that women seek average lower salaries than their male counterparts, women clients also reported being unemployed longer, suggesting that the job search process can be particularly difficult for women veterans. Our data analysis showed the median period of unemployment lasted six weeks longer for women. Average unemployment duration also varied significantly based on race, with Black, Hispanic and Asian clients reporting longer periods of unemployment compared to white respondents.
Hire Heroes USA also discovered several positive trends in our data collection:
• Hire Heroes USA reported 10,607 confirmed hires in 2019, an increase of 2,184 from 2018
• Hire Heroes USA worked with a total of 18,110 transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses, 4,360 more than 2018
• 67.9% of Hire Heroes clients meet or exceed their desired salary
• Average hire salaries increased 3.2% from 2018 levels in 2019, to $59,573
• Hire Heroes USA clients are more racially diverse and gender diverse than the active duty military population
In addition to gathering information about trends relevant for military families, the Hire Heroes Report allows Hire Heroes USA to redefine and improve our programs in an effort to empower more job-seeking service members, veterans and military spouses. None of this would be possible without the generosity of the Walmart Foundation. Their support made this analysis possible, and we are grateful for their dedication to the military and veteran community. 
“We are grateful for the important work Hire Heroes is doing to make sure all veterans successfully integrate into the civilian workforce,” said Julie Gehrki, vice president of the Walmart Foundation. “This study provides important insights that will help address the unique challenges women veterans face and better serve them as they seek to build a successful career.”
The full report is available below or you can view it here.