The Alarming Statistics Regarding the Gender Pay Gap
At this point it’s really no secret that men are paid more than women. The wage gap debate has been going on for decades and even has it’s own national day of protest on April 14th.
Thanks to initiatives like Equal Pay Day and the public awareness it provides, there has been some improvement. Let’s be honest, women in the workforce have a far better situation than they did in the 60s and 70s when this all really started gaining traction.
However, by looking at statistics you’ll soon find that the pay gap between men and women not only still exists, but the disparity is actually extremely alarming. Read More
Median Earnings Between Men and Women
The pay gap is defined as the difference in men and women’s median earnings. The data to calculate such numbers comes from federal agencies such as the Census Bureau, the Department of Labor and the Department of Education.
According to a case study conducted by The American Association of University Women, in 2013 women in the United States were typically paid 78% (that's 22% less) of what men were paid.
This 78% figure looks at the United States as a whole, but you can also break down the numbers according to each state. For instance, Washington D.C. has the smallest gap where women earn 9% less than a man earns. Meanwhile, Louisiana has the widest gap because women earn a huge 31% less than what a man earns.
While there is some diversity, and while some states are far worse than others, the truth remains that in all 50 states and Washington D.C. women are still earning less than men.
Women Are Working for Free
By taking these statistics into account you soon start to see that women are essentially working for free for a percentage of the year in every state.
If we look at the United States as a whole, it would take a woman 80.3 days from the from the first day of the year before she technically starts earning any money. That’s almost three months!
For the sake of simplicity let’s also break it down for Washington D.C. and Louisiana, the current best and worst case scenario respectively. In Washington D.C. a woman would start earning money at the 32 day mark where as in Louisiana it would take 124 days.
How Minorities Are Affected
The wage gap gets even more complicated (and infuriating) when you start looking at different minorities among women. Overall, White (non-Hispanic) and Asian women make more money than women from other ethnic groups.
However, if you take ethnic groups individually it paints an interesting picture. For instance, Hispanic women earn 90% of what Hispanic men earn, making for only a 10% pay gap. This doesn’t take away from the fact that Hispanic women make less money than women from all other ethnicities, it’s just interesting to see how the pay gap varies among different groups of people.
Why This Is a Problem
The gender pay gap isn’t just a women’s issue. It’s a major family issue that affects every member within the American society.
With rising costs of living families are more dependent on two salaries than ever before. Furthermore, the AAUW found that 40% of mothers with children under the age of 18 are the breadwinners for the family. If they aren’t properly compensated this could lead to poverty.
The economic and family landscape has significantly changed since women began entering the workforce, as such women’s wages are needed now more than ever. It’s clearly our best interest as a society to make sure women and men are paid equally. This begs the question, what’s taking so long?If you liked this article, check out our previous gender pay gap article today.