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What They’re Not Telling You About the Gender Wage Gap

Alina R

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The gender pay gap average is 16% when measured per hour, 18%-19% weekly and 21% annually lower for women. If you count in differences in Education, skills, experience or occupation, the gap goes down to 4%-8%. While some analysts believe that this gap is due to productivity differences, others attribute it to gender discrimination.

Even if 4%-8% doesn’t sound very high, it actually means that women lose $241 million a year due to gender discrimination. A portion of the gender wage gap is due to choices like what College you go to, flexibility, how many hours you can put in and occupation. Women work on average fewer hours and in less lucrative professions, like school teaching or caregiving. Men, however, tend to work in higher-paying fields, like engineering or anesthesiology.

Men do work on average more than women, but there is unpaid work. The average American woman spends 167 minutes per day on average on housework and cares for family members, compared to men who only spend 101 hours a day. That work even if unpaid, is very real. Women do a disproportionate amount of unpaid labor in the US, which distorts the labor market. With each child a Family has, women see their average income relative to men go down by about 7.5 percent after the first child.

There have been several studies exploring this phenomenon, including one in 2007 in which a Stanford Professor, sent out fictitious resumes to multiple firms and found that females applicants with children, were less likely to be offered a position. Even when they were offered a job, it would be at a lower starting salary. Men, on the other hand, seemed to do better after having children in employment opportunities and wages. That is also the reason why the pay gap gets worse over time.

In some professions, the gender pay hap reverses. A comparison of 2016 median compensation packages of S&P 500 leaders who held the job for a year, 21 female CEOs received a median of $13.8 million compared to the $11.6 million median earned by the 382 male CEOs. This pay gap isn’t unique. Female CEOs have made more than men in six of the past seven years. Three of the 10 highest paid executives are women.

If current trends persist, the gender earnings gap won’t close until 2058.

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