The Gender Pay Gap is the disparity between salaries for men and women. This issue is widespread and persists even when controlling for factors like experience, industry, and job level. Take a look at the facts and figures to learn more about the severity of this issue in every field.
Get Informed: Facts & Figures
Depending on the study, women make an average of 81 or 82 cents on the dollar compared to men in the United States. The gap is often worse for women of color:
- Latina women earn 54 cents, Native American women earn 57 cents, Black women earn 62 cents, White women earn 79 cents, and Asian women earn 90 cents for every dollar earned by White men.
The median annual pay differential for women and men can be anywhere from $10,194.00 to $11,900.00 per year. The gender pay gap also varies by state, with the narrowest gaps being in New York (89%) and California (88%) and the widest gaps being in Louisiana (70%), Utah (70%), and West Virginia (72%). Zooming in on the arts, we see that women make $20,000 less annually than their male counterparts, according to the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP).
It is important to note that women aren’t the only ones negatively affected by the gap – when women enter a male-dominated field, wages tend to go down, even for men.
The consequences of the pay gap are such that women’s ability to attain long-term economic stability, earning potential overtime, economic mobility, and more is severely limited.
Did you know that:
- Based on current trends, women can experience up to $900,000 in lost lifetime earnings?
- 64% of mothers are the primary, sole, or co-breadwinners in their family?
- Mothers, even those who did not leave the workforce to have children, earn less than non-mothers?
- Women hold nearly two-thirds of outstanding student loan debt? Pay discrepancies in the long term are detrimental to their ability to pay off the loans.
- If women were paid the same as men, the poverty rate among working women would decrease from 8% to just 3.8%?
With all of that in mind, it is high time to take action
There are many ways to get involved in efforts to eliminate the gender pay gap. Write to your Members of Congress (MOCs) and encourage them to support legislative efforts related to pay equity – be aware of relevant legislation and advocacy that may accredit your assertions:
- H.R 7 – Paycheck Fairness Act
- H.R.1864 – Pay Equity for All Act of 2019
- H.R.2039 – Fair Pay Act of 2019
- Remember, equal pay laws and protections vary by state.
- Currently, Alabama and Mississippi are the only two states without any equal pay protections.
It is also crucial to talk to your peers about the gender pay gap. Efforts like this to bolster discourse are the first step in raising awareness of the reality of pay discrepancies. You can also support organizations like the Dance Data Project® who are advocating for closing the pay gap. Visit the DDP Resources page to learn more about organizations and studies that are keeping us informed and reinvigorating the essential dialogue surrounding this issue.