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10 Wildly Depressing Facts About the Gender Wage Gap

If progress continues at its current rate, it will take 45 years to eradicate the wage gap.

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7. As women age the wage gap continues to grow. For working women between the ages of 25 to 29, the annual wage gap is $1,702. In the last five years before retirement, however, the annual wage gap jumps to $14,352.

8. Single women are even more adversely affected by the wage gap than married women. Single women earn only 78.8 percent of what married women earn, and only  57 cents for every dollar that married males earn.

9. More than 40 percent of the wage gap cannot be explained by occupation, work experience, race, or union membership. More than one-quarter of the wage gap is due to the different jobs that men and women hold, and about 10 percent is due to the fact that women are more likely to leave the workforce to provide unpaid care to family members. But even when controlling for gender and racial differences, 41 percent is “unexplainable by measureable factors.” Even if women and men have the same background, the wage gap still exists, highlighting the fact that part of the discrepancy can be attributed to gender-based pay discrimination.

10. Mothers earn about 7 percent less per child than childless women. For women under 35 years of age, the wage gap between mothers and women without children is greater than the gap between women and men.

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act helps female and minority workers challenge discriminatory pay in the courts but the Paycheck Fairness Act, which has yet to pass into law, would be an important step further and close the wage gap by prohibiting gender-based pay discrepancies and banning workplace policies that prohibit employees from disclosing their wages with each other.

Sarah Jane Glynn is a Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress Audrey Powers is an intern with the Economic Policy team at the Center.

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