While you may be aware of the gender pay gap in the U.S., looking at the numbers can delineate just how big this gap is – and how it has changed over recent years. These numbers may also be one of the keys to working towards closing this gap and having income be based on merit/skills/effort, rather than gender.
The Gender Pay Gap by Numbers
The following numbers come from the social scientists at the Pew Research Center, and they reflect some of the most recent findings regarding the gender pay gap in the U.S.
- On average, women earn about 84 percent of what their male counterparts (i.e., men in the same positions) earn. This means that it would take about 40 extra days of work (or until the end of February) for women to earn as much as their male counterparts did in a given year (Interestingly, the White House has estimated that women earn about 77 percent of what their male counterparts earn in a given year).
- The gender pay gap fluctuates with age. In fact, this gap is usually smaller for younger female workers, who reportedly earn about 93 percent of what their male counterparts earn.
- While the gender pay gap seems to be narrowing, its persistence is notable, with some speculating that career interruptions for women play a big role in maintaining the gap. In fact:
- Women are far more likely than men to endure a career interruption for their family.
- While about 40 percent of working women have reported taking a “significant” amount of time off from work for family-related reasons, only about 24 percent of men have reportedly done the same.
- Although women have a growing presence in managerial roles (and other higher paying positions traditionally held by men), on the whole, women tend to work in lower-paying jobs than men do.
- Some part of the gender pay gap may be due to persisting workplace gender discrimination. In fact, women are about two times more likely than men to agree that they have been the targets of gender discrimination in the workplace.
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