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Pay Equity & Discrimination

About Pay Equity & Discrimination

Women are almost half of the workforce. They are the equal, if not main, breadwinner in four out of ten families. They receive more college and graduate degrees than men. Yet, on average, women continue to earn considerably less than men. In 2013, female full-time workers made only 78 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 22 percent. Women, on average, earn less than men in virtually every single occupation for which there is sufficient earnings data for both men and women to calculate an earnings ratio.

In 2013, female full-time workers made only 78 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 22 percent.

IWPR tracks the gender wage gap over time in a series of fact sheets updated annually. According to our research, if change continues at the same slow pace as it has done for the past fifty years, it will take almost fifty years—or until 2058—for women to finally reach pay parity. IWPR’s annual fact sheet on the gender wage gap by occupation shows that women earn less than men in almost any occupation. IWPR’s Status of Women in the States project tracks the gender wage gap across states. IWPR’s project on sex and race discrimination in the workplace shows that outright discrimination in pay, hiring, or promotions continues to be a significant feature of working life.

Pay equity may also be impacted by other more subtle factors than workplace discrimination. IWPR’s research shows that, irrespective of the level of qualification, jobs predominantly done by women pay less on average than jobs predominantly done by men. Women have made tremendous strides during the last few decades by moving into jobs and occupations previously done almost exclusively by men, yet during the last decade there has been very little further progress in the gender integration of work. This persistent occupational segregation is a significant contributor to the lack of significant progress in closing the wage gap. According to a recent regression analysis of federal data by IWPR, the poverty rate for working women would be cut in half if women were paid the same as comparable men.

IWPR, in collaboration with The WAGE Project, Inc., examined consent decree remedies for sex and race discrimination in the workplace. Consent decrees are court approved settlements of law suits where the defendant does not admit guilt but agrees to the implementation of a set of measures to remedy and prevent future occurrence of potentially unlawful practices. In employment discrimination cases, in addition to individual relief (such as monetary damages for the person(s) who brought the discrimination claim), consent decrees typically mandate organizational remedies such as sexual harassment training, the introduction of new grievance procedures, supervisory training or revised performance management, and reward schemes. Click here for more information.

 

Resources

The Gender Wage Gap: 2013 | Fact Sheet

The Wage Gap by Occupation: 2013 | Fact Sheet

Ending Sex and Race Discrimination in the Workplace: Legal Interventions That Push the Envelope | Report

To see our experts on this and other initiatives, click here.

Visit our external resources page for links to more information on this topic.

Latest Reports from IWPR

Tipped Over the Edge: Gender Inequity in the Restaurant Industry
by Restaurant Opportunities Center United and Family Values @ Work, HERvotes, IWPR, MomsRising, NCBCP's Black Women's Roundtable, NCRW, NOW Foundation, NPWF, NWLC, WOW, NYU Wagner, 9to5 (February 2012)

The restaurant industry employs over 10 million workers in one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors of the United States economy. The majority of workers in this huge and growing sector are women. Despite the sector’s growth and potential to offer opportunities to advance women’s economic security, restaurant workers’ wages have not kept pace with the industry’s economic growth.The restaurant industry offers some of the nation’s lowest-wage jobs, with little access to benefits and career advancement. In 2010, seven of the ten lowest-paid occupations were all restaurant occupations. The restaurant industry has one of the highest concentrations of workers (39 percent) earning at or below the minimum wage. Moreover, low wages tell only part of the story; workers also lack access to benefits and career mobility. These challenges create a disproportional burden for women.

 

Tipped Over the Edge: Gender Inequity in the Restaurant Industry (Executive Summary)
by Restaurant Opportunities Center United and Family Values @ Work, HERvotes, IWPR, MomsRising, NCBCP's Black Women's Roundtable, NCRW, NOW Foundation, NPWF, NWLC, WOW, NYU Wagner, 9to5 (February 2012)

The restaurant industry employs over 10 million workers1 in one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors of the United States economy. The majority of workers in this huge and growing sector are women. Despite the sector’s growth and potential to offer opportunities to advance women’s economic security, restaurant workers’ wages have not kept pace with the industry’s economic growth. The restaurant industry offers some of the nation’s lowest-wage jobs, with little access to benefits and career advancement. In 2010, seven of the ten lowest-paid occupations were all restaurant occupations.The restaurant industry has one of the highest concentrations of workers (39 percent) earning at or below the minimum wage. Moreover, low wages tell only part of the story; workers also lack access to benefits and career mobility. These challenges create a disproportional burden for women.

 
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Low Literacy Means Lower Earnings, Especially for Women
by Jennifer Herard, Kevin Miller, Jane Henrici, and Barbara Gault (February 2012)

 

Equal Job Growth for Women and Men in Last Quarter of 2011: Women Continue to Leave the Labor Force
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (January 2012)

According to IWPR analysis of the January employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth was moderate in December with 200,000 jobs added to nonfarm payrolls.

 

The Gender Wage Gap in New York State and Its Solutions
by Ariane Hegewich, Jeff Hayes, Ph.D., Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D., Jocelyn Fischer, Claudia Williams, and Justine Augeri (December 2011)

This gender wage gap has pernicious consequences for women and their families. 14.8 percent of women in New York State had incomes at or below the official poverty threshold (for families of their size and composition). This poverty rate for women in New York is approximately the same as that for women in the United States as a whole, with 28 states having less female poverty than New York State.

 

Slow Job Growth in September Points to Need for Federal Help with Job Creation
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (October 2011)

 

The Gender Wage Gap: 2010
by Ariane Hegewisch and Claudia Williams (September 2011)

The ratio of women‟s and men‟s median annual earnings was 77.4 for full-time/year-round workers in 2010, essentially unchanged from 77.0 in 2009.

 

Women Underrepresented Among High Earners in Banking and Finance
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (September 2011)

 

Women and Men in the Public Sector
by Jeff Hayes, Ph.D. (September 2011)

 

The Job Loss Tsunami of the Great Recession: Wave Recedes for Men, Not for Women
by Heidi Hartmann, Jeffrey Hayes (July 2011)

 

Pay Secrecy and Wage Discrimination
by Ariane Hegewisch, Claudia Williams and Robert Drago, Ph.D. (June 2011)

 

The New Mexico Pay Equity Initiative in State Contracting
by Martha Burk (May 2011)

 
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The New Mexico Pay Equity Initiative in State Contracting
by Martha Burk, Ph. D (May 2011)

 
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The Wage Gap and Occupational Segregation
by Barbara Gault, Ph.D. (April 2011)

 

The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation (April 2011)
by Ariane Hegewisch, Claudia Williams and Amber Henderson (April 2011)

 

The Gender Wage Gap: 2010 (Updated April 2011)
by Ariane Hegewisch, Claudia Williams and Amber Henderson (April 2011)

 

Ending Sex and Race Discrimination in the Workplace: Legal Interventions That Push the Envelope (Executive Summary)
by Ariane Hegewisch, Cynthia Deitch and Evelyn Murphy (March 2011)

 

Ending Sex and Race Discrimination in the Workplace: Legal Interventions That Push the Envelope
by Ariane Hegewisch, Cynthia Deitch and Evelyn Murphy (March 2011)

This report draws on the IWPR/WAGE Consent Decree Database to analyze the injunctive relief awarded in 502 sex and/or race discrimination settlements that became effective between 2000 and 2008.

#C379, Report, 176 pages
$30.00
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Monthly Number of Women and Men on Payrolls (Seasonally Adjusted), December 2007– February 2011
by (March 2011)

 

Women’s Median Earnings as a Percent of Men’s Median Earnings, 1960-2009 (Full-Time, Year-Round Workers) with Projection for Pay Equity in 2056
by Jeffrey Hayes (March 2011)

 
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