On average, U.S. women make $.74 on the dollar compared to men.
Some studies say more, and some less. But the fact that women earn less than men in general is not a myth; it’s an inarguable fact.
That said, it’s a fact that’s used out of context or misunderstood. A lot.
While it’s true that, typically, women make less than men for doing the same jobs, that discrepancy is not nearly as large as the $.74 to the dollar figure. This oft-cited figure comes from the fact that men and women tend to hold different jobs.
(Photo Credit: ginnerobot/Flickr)
As we explain in our report, Inside the Gender Pay Gap, a big part of the reason for the gap lies in the difference between jobs generally held by men compared to jobs generally held by women: Men primarily hold many of the highest-paying types of jobs in industries like engineering, computer science, and business and finance. Women, meanwhile, hold a majority of teaching, social service, and personal care jobs.
Women are underrepresented in the best-paying jobs in our society, which contributes to overall pay inequity in a big way. By that, we mean that women are less likely to go into high-paying fields like engineering and technology, and that women are less likely to hold leadership roles. And it’s largely for these reasons that the $.74 figure is 100 percent true.
Equal Pay Day was established in 1996 by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE). It’s a symbolic day that illustrates how the gap between men’s and women’s wages requires women to work longer to earn the same amount as men; it’s on this day that the average woman’s salary catches up with the average man’s from the prior year.
In 2016, Equal Pay Day is April 12.
To illustrate the gender pay gap inequity, PayScale handed out candy bars to “Celebrate Equal Pay Day.” We gave some people 100 percent of a candy bar, and some 74 percent. Then we recorded their reactions.
Watch the video below.
To learn more about why women still don’t get equal pay for equal work, and other reasons why men earn more, read PayScale’s report, Inside the Gender Pay Gap.