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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 2015, female full-time workers made only 79 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 21 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 2015, female full-time workers made only 79 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 21 percent.

IWPR tracks the gender wage gap over time in a series of fact sheets updated twice per year. According to our research, if change continues at the same slow pace as it has done for the past fifty years, it will take 44 years—or until 2059—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 report 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 be affected by the segregation of jobs by gender and other factors. 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. In some industries and occupations, like construction, there has been no progress in forty years. In middle-skill occupations workers in jobs mainly done by women earn only 66 percent of workers in jobs mainly done by men. This persistent occupational segregation is a primary 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.

 

Resources

The Gender Wage Gap and Public Policy | Briefing Paper
The Economic Impact of Equal Pay by State
| Fact Sheet
The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation 2015
| Fact Sheet
Women’s Median Earnings as a Percent of Men’s Median Earnings, 1960-2013 (Full-time, Year-round
Workers) with Projection for Pay Equity in 2059
| Quick Figures
How Equal Pay for Working Women would Reduce Poverty and Grow the American Economy
| Briefing Paper

Pay Secrecy and Wage Discrimination
| Quick Figures

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

Statusofwomendata.org | State-level data on women's Employment & Earnings

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

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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Brief Of Amicus Curiae The Institute for Women's Policy Research in Support of Respondents
by The Institute for Women's Policy Research (January 2011)

IWPR submits this brief in support of Respondents who are seeking affirmance of the order of class certification generally, and specifically, certification under Rule 23(b)(2). Title VII is a remedial statute providing “make whole relief,” including injunctive relief, to those subjected to discrimination in the workplace.

 

The Gender Wage Gap 2009 (Updated September 2010)
by Robert Drago, PhD, and Claudia Williams (September 2010)

The ratio of women’s and men’s median annual earnings, was 77.0 for full-time, year-round workers in 2009, essentially unchanged from 77.1 in 2008. (This means the gender wage gap for full-time year-round workers is now 22.9 percent.) This is below the peak of 77.8 percent in 2007.

 
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Separate and Not Equal? Gender Segregation in the Labor Market and the Gender Wage Gap
by Ariane Hegewisch, Hannah Leipmann, Jeffrey Hayes, and Heidi Hartmann (September 2010)

 

Separate and Not Equal? Gender Segregation in the Labor Market and the Gender Wage Gap
by Ariane Hegewisch, Hannah Liepmann, Jeffrey Hayes, and Heidi Hartmann (August 2010)

Occupational gender segregation is a strong feature of the US labor market. While some occupations have become increasingly integrated over time, others remain highly dominated by either men or women. Our analysis of trends in overall gender segregation shows that, after a considerable move towards more integrated occupations in the 1970s and 1980s, progress has completely stalled since the mid 1990s. Occupational segregation is a concern to policy makers for two reasons: it is inefficient economically, preventing able people from moving into occupations where they could perform well and that would satisfy them more than the ones open to them. And occupational segregation is a major cause for the persistent wage gap. Our analysis confirms that average earnings tend to be lower the higher the percentage of female workers in an occupation, and that this relationship is strongest for the most highly skilled occupations, such as medicine or law. Yet this is also a strong feature of jobs requiring little formal education and experience, increasing the likelihood of very low earnings for women working in female-dominated, low-skilled occupations such as childcare.

#C377, 16 pages
$5.00
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The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation
by Ariane Hegewisch and Hannah Liepman (March 2010)

The gender wage gap and occupational segregation – men primarily working in occupations done by other men, and women primarily working with other women – are persistent features of the US labor market. During 2009, median weekly earnings for female full-time workers were $657, compared with $819 per week for men, a gender wage ratio of 80.2 percent (or a gender wage gap of 19.8 percent). Women’s median earnings are lower than men’s in nearly all occupations, whether they work in occupations predominantly done by women, occupations predominantly done by men, or occupations with a more even mix of men and women. Four of ten women (39.7 percent, down from 43.6 percent in 2008) work in traditionally female occupations, and slightly more than four of ten male workers (43.6 percent, down from 46.1 percent in 2008) work in traditionally male occupations.1 Typically, male dominated occupations pay more than female dominated occupations at similar skill levels. Therefore, tackling occupational segregation is an important part of tackling the gender wage gap.

#C350a, Fact Sheet, 9 pages
$5.00
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The Workforce Investment Act and Women's Progress: Does WIA Funded Training Reinforce Sex Segregation in the Labor Market and the Gender Wage Gap?
by Ariane Hegewisch and Helen Luyri (January 2010)

#C372, Briefing Paper, 8 pages
$5.00
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