Despite numerous efforts to bridge gender wage gap, a new study suggests that it could take at least another 40 years, until 2056, for the gap to be closed. The study, conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, found that progress in closing the gender wage gap has been slow and inconsistent over the last few decades.
The gender wage gap refers to the disparity in pay between men and women. Despite making up almost half of the labor force, women continue to earn less than men, with women of color earning even less. According to the study, in 2020, women earned just 82 cents for every dollar earned by men, reflecting a mere one cent increase from the previous year.
While some may argue that the gap has closed significantly over the years, the study found that progress has largely stalled since 2007, with the rate of change in the gender wage gap slowing down significantly. The study also found that at the current rate of change, women will not see equal pay until 2056.
The study also found that the gender wage gap varies significantly by occupation, educational attainment, and race/ethnicity. Women working in male-dominated professions such as technology, engineering, and finance tend to experience a more significant wage gap, while women with higher levels of educational attainment, such as graduate degrees, tend to experience a smaller gap.
Women of color also tend to experience a larger wage gap compared to white women and often face a higher risk of poverty. Black women, for instance, earn just 63 cents for every dollar earned by white men.
Numerous efforts have been made to address the gender wage gap over the years, including the passage of the Equal Pay Act in 1963, which requires that men and women be paid equally for work that is substantially the same. However, the gender wage gap persists, in part due to factors such as occupational segregation, gender bias, and motherhood penalties.
Closing the gender wage gap is not only a matter of fairness but also has significant implications for families and the economy. Women’s equal participation in the workforce can boost economic growth, as well as help improve the financial stability of families.
Efforts to close the gender wage gap must continue, and policymakers must implement policies that promote equal pay for women, such as pay transparency, paid family leave, and affordable childcare options. Additionally, employers must take a more proactive approach to address gender bias and occupational segregation in the workplace.
In conclusion, it is disheartening to think that women may have to wait until 2056 to achieve pay equality with men. However, the fight for equal pay must persist, and we must continue to advocate for policies that will promote gender equality in the workplace.