Home / Tech / Pay Gap Between Men and Women Might Be Worse Than Previously Calculated

Pay Gap Between Men and Women Might Be Worse Than Previously Calculated

Today is Equal Pay Day, the day on which we acknowledge that a woman would have to work a full fifteen months to earn what a man in an equivalent role makes in a year. Since the wage gap is 80 cents to the dollar—that is, a woman earns 80 cents for every dollar a male peer earns—it takes women until April 2 to earn what men make between January and December. Many women of color have to work even longer to catch up to both their white male and their white female peers.

However, a recent study suggests that we might have to push Equal Pay Day a few more months down the road. As Vox reports:

“The commonly used figure to describe the gender wage ratio—that a woman earns 80 cents for every dollar earned by a man—understates the pay inequality problem by leaving many women workers out of the picture,” authors Stephen J. Rose, a labor economist and fellow at the Urban Institute, and Heidi I. Hartmann, the founder of IWPR and an economist in residence at American University, argue in their report, titled “Still a Man’s Labor Market.”Specifically, it leaves out women who have dropped out of the labor force temporarily, often to care for family.

In other words: when you look at women’s careers over a fifteen-year period and include both years spent in paid employment and years spent providing unpaid caregiving work, women only earn 49 cents for every dollar a man earns.

Yes, that’s kind of like comparing apples and oranges—but that’s the point. People who take time out of the workforce to provide unpaid labor to family, no matter their gender, lose out on both potential income and potential career growth. Since women are more likely to take on this unpaid labor than men are, time spent out of the workforce not only reduces an individual woman’s earning potential but also contributes to the large-scale pay gap between men and women.

What about men who take time out for caregiving, or become unemployed? The study took that into account:

While men are also penalized for time out of the workforce, women’s earnings losses for time out are almost always greater than men’s.

Likewise:

Among women workers in this study, 43 percent had at least one year with no earnings, while only 23 percent of men did, indicating that being out of work for a year is still a common experience for women but unusual for men.

If you’re looking to close your own pay gap, we’ve got some tips below to help you negotiate a higher starting salary or approach your boss about a raise. After all, Equal Pay Day is the kind of holiday that many of us would love to see disappear from the calendar in the next decade.

Vialifehacker

About coolgnvj_thenewsspace

Check Also

Some trees can make droughts worse

ShareTweetPinGoogle+LinkedIn0shares Tree species in hotter climates—like oaks in California and the Mediterranean—respond to drought by …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *