Four Things That Contribute to the Gender Pay Gap


You’ve probably heard women earn just 78 cents for every dollar that men do. The problem is not just that women earn less for doing the same jobs as men, although that happens, too. There is a whole raft of reasons why, 52 years after the Equal Pay Act, female workers in the United States don’t earn as much as male ones. And to close the gender pay gap, people—and organizations—will have to work on all of them.

That’s what so helpful about a new report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Researchers break down the pay gap and publish statistics about lots of important issues—part-time work, women in science and technology jobs, women in unions—so organizations can think about tackling each point separately. The report also provides a warning about what will happen if we don’t try to solve some of these problems. At the rate that women’s wages have risen since the 1960s, we won’t have equal pay until 2058. In Wyoming, the slowest of the American states to improve, women won’t earn as much as men for another 100 years.

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