April 16, 2024

News and Political Commentary

Equal Pay Day highlights $1.2 million salary shortfall for some women

2 min read

Gender pay gap at 'very senior' levels not as wide as it is throughout the workforce: MSCI

Equal Pay Day is a reminder of the persistent income inequality between men and women.

As it stands, women earn just 84 cents for every dollar earned by men, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by the National Women’s Law Center.

“When you look at the cent number, it looks like it’s small,” Jasmine Tucker, the National Women’s Law Center’s vice president of research, said of the shortfall. “I don’t think that does justice to the actual losses.”

This year, March 12 marks just how far into the new year full-time female workers have to keep working to make what their male counterparts typically made in just the previous year, also known as the gender pay gap.

Over time, the inequality is magnified. Based on today’s wage gap, a woman just starting out will lose $399,600 over a 40-year career, according to the National Women’s Law Center.

More from Women and Wealth:

Here’s a look at more coverage in CNBC’s Women & Wealth special report, where we explore ways women can increase income, save and make the most of opportunities.

The pay gap worsens significantly for Black and Latina women.

For Black women, the lifetime wage gap adds up to $884,800, and for Latina women, the losses total $1,218,000, the nonprofit advocacy group found.

That also means that Black and Latina would have to work full time, year-round to nearly age 80 or 90 to make what white non-Hispanic men are paid by age 60, Tucker said, “or they forfeit over $1 million in losses.”

Why the gender pay gap persists

There is no single explanation for why progress toward narrowing the pay gap has mostly stalled, according to a separate report by the Pew Research Center. Some contributing factors: Women are still more likely to pursue careers in lower-paying industries, and to take time out of the labor force or reduce the number of hours worked because of caretaking responsibilities — often referred to as the “motherhood penalty.”

Systemic bias has also played a role.

Women of color remain…



2024-03-12 09:17:00

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