Putting the Gender Pay Gap in Perspective

By FQ Correspondent

Learning about your company’s raw pay gap— and the length of time required to close it may have shocked you! Understanding which factors contribute to the pay gap and who is most impacted by it can help in developing a solution.


The pay gap does not impact all women equally. In addition to gender, here are some other demos that negatively impact women’s compensation, too.

Being a woman of color. The fact that women are paid 18% less on average than men is not news. The fact that most women of color are paid far less than white men on the dollar should be front page news. Black women receive 37% less and Latinas a whopping 45% less in comparison to white men.

Being an older woman. Compensation differentials between women and men just starting out in the workplace are far lower and grow over time as women age. Some factors such as balancing caregiving responsibilities, which impact far more women than men, exacerbate this dynamic even further over time. The result is a significant wealth gap for women in the later stages of their careers.

Being a differently-abled woman. Women are more likely than men to have a disability and the prevalence increases with age. A disability pay gap of 13% already exists, regardless of gender, and only gets worse when considering gender, race and age.

Being a mother. In the United States, half of mothers in families with children under 18 are also the primary earners in their households. According to the National Partnership for Women & Families this includes 48% of white mothers, 48% of Latina mothers, 79% of Black mothers, 64% of Native American mothers and 43% of Asian/Pacific Islander mothers. Yet the wage gap for mothers is larger than for women overall!.


Factors that don’t contribute to the wage gap might also surprise you. These include:

Education level. Women enter college and complete college at a higher rate than men. However, that educational attainment has little impact on their earnings in relation to men. In fact, for those with school loans, it may even increase their wealth gap over time.

Industry. Sadly, there are no industries that have the pay gap solved. Some are better than others, but compensation inequities exist across the board.

As you explore ways that you can take action on pay parity, keep in mind that the impact is not equal for all women. Understanding how aspects of their identity, in addition to gender, contribute to additional earning loss will help you solve for them.

If you haven’t yet evaluated where your organization stands, start with the Advancing Equality Calculator now.

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