Happy Equal Pay Day, everyone! Today represents “how far into 2013 women must work to earn what men earned in 2012.”
I know I don’t have to tell you that there is a wage gap. I’ve already done that here and here. (And don’t even get me started on the non-believers.) But I do highly recommend you read this article “How Pay Inequity Hurts Women of Color,” which also discusses immigrants, lesbians, and Millennials.
I want to talk about what that wage gap means.
- In 2012 entry-level jobs, the average for college graduate men was $42,918 and $35,296 for women
- However, the average GPA for college graduate men was 2.94, yet the women’s GPA was 3.11
- No matter what level of education received, men always make more than women, on average
- Over a 40-year career, women miss out on $431,000
- The gap is even wider among different ethnicities
- At the current rate, it will take 38 more years before women’s paychecks match that of men’s
- If women got equal pay, the GDP would increase by 9%, which is $1.3 billion
- The poverty rate for single mother families would decrease by 50% and dual-income families by 25%
- Women are the majority in the 10 largest occupations that pay less than $10.10/hr.
- 7 of the occupations are made up of 2/3 or more women.
- Jobs primarily held by women are among the fastest growing in the country, but we are not compensating them fairly and giving them access to the benefits or salaries that they need
- Society inherently undervalues the work done primarily by women
- Women receive lower returns on their investments in education and training than men
- Undervaluation is present by being trapped in jobs that don’t utilize their potential and/or by being under-rewarded
- Undervaluation occurs throughout the job hierarchy, in skill, pay, company organization, and division of labor
- Over the last 40 years, 42% of all STEM degrees went to women, but women only make up 27% of the STEM workforce
- Women in STEM still make about 14% less than men on average
- Women in STEM are going into a broken system, one based on a paradigm from the 1950s where men with stay-at-homes wives are most likely to succeed
No matter how you slice it, women in the workforce are not being valued the same as men. It’s better for women, it’s better for families, and it’s better for America when women are valued they way they should be.