Over the past five decades, women have made remarkable strides in entering and establishing a presence the U.S. workforce. One downside to this, however, has been the persisting gender pay gap that impacts women working in nearly every industry, regardless of their ages and ethnicities.
Highlighting the nature and scope of this issue, below, we will discuss some important facts to know about the gender pay gap in the U.S.
Were You Aware that…
1 – The gender pay gap has remained relatively static over the past decade.
In fact, over the past 10 or so years, full-time working women (who work year round) earn, on average, about 78 percent of what their male counterparts earn (with counterparts referred to men working in the same positions/occupations).
This means that women have to work at least a few extra months (i.e., 14 to 15 months) to earn the same amount that their male counterparts earn in a given year.
2 – More education does not seem to impact the gender pay gap.
While seeking a higher education can help increase women’s (and men’s) opportunities and pay, having a higher education does not mean that women will not be affected by the gender pay gap. In fact, as research has shown, women’s average earnings are less than men’s at every education level. In some cases, the gender pay gap actually widens with higher levels of education.
3 – The gender pay gap is wider/bigger in some states.
This may be one of the more shocking facts about the gender pay gap, and it is, nevertheless, true. Among the states with the smallest gender pay gaps (i.e., where women make closer to what their male counterparts are earning) are Washington D.C., Maryland and New York. In contrast, the states with the widest gender pay gap (i.e., where women are earning a lot less than their male counterparts) include Louisiana, Wyoming and West Virginia.
4 – As women age, the gender pay gap also widens.
What researchers have found is that the gender pay gap tends to be relatively small when women are younger than 35, with women generally earning about 90 percent of what their male counterparts earn up until this age. At and after 35 years old, however, the gender pay gap typically starts to widen, with women earning less than 80 percent of what their male counterparts earn.
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