It turns out that the wage gap between men and women is much larger than anyone expected.
Just how bad is it? New data reveals that women may earn only half of what men do over a 15-year span. But what's contributing to this massive pay difference?
The factors of wage disparity
A study released by the Institute for Women's Policy Research indicates several factors account for this wage gap. Factors that include:
The penalty for time off work
The 15-year study found that if a woman took just one year off, her earnings fell 39 percent compared to other women.
This is the penalty women who take time off to raise children face when they re-enter the labor market. Although men also lost earnings by taking a year off, their loss wasn't as large as women's.
Cost of childcare
Many mothers are forced to choose between pursuing a career or staying home to defer the cost of childcare. Because of the high cost of care in the United States, women put their working careers on hold to care for children.
Bearing either the cost of childcare or time off work to care for children both drive down a woman's lifetime earning potential.
Inaccessible educational fields
Even in 2018, certain high-paying fields are mostly off-limits to women. This is because of the high barrier of education faced by women trying to break into these fields. It can be difficult for women to enter areas that have been dominated by men, as the market can be resistant to change.
A lack of access to these high-paying jobs further increases the pay disparity between men and women.
Fighting for fair labor practices
Pay disparities are just one of the ways employees can face discrimination in their workplace. If you suspect your office is engaging in discrimination for whatever reason, a skilled attorney can help you fight for fair treatment.