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Women Work 'For Free' 59 Days Per Year, Thanks To The Gender Pay Gap: Analysis (February 27, 2013)

By Jillian Berman
Huffington Post

Women workers are spending weeks toiling away for free as their male colleagues get paid -- about 11 weeks and 3 days per year to be exact, according to an analysis for The Huffington Post by Ariane Hegewisch at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

Since American women workers make on average 77.4 percent of what their male counterparts make in a year, that means they have to work 22.6 percent more days to make as much money as men, Hegewisch wrote in an email to The Huffington Post.

Hegewisch's analysis assumes American employees work 260 days per year (a full 52 weeks without vacation). In that time, women are working about 59 days for free that their male colleagues are getting paid for.

Ladies’ free labor is just one of the many consequences of the gender wage gap. Women make $434,000 less than men on average over the course of their careers, according to a fact sheet from the Democratic Policy and Communications Center. And that earning gap starts within the first year of a woman's career. Straight out of college, women make on average $7,600 less than men, according to a fact sheet from Congress’ joint economic committee.

Politicians are taking steps to address the gender pay gap, but with female workers only comprising 6.2 percent of top-earning positions, progress may be slow. Lawmakers recently introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act, which aims to address the gender wage gap by making it easier for women workers to compare salaries with their male counterparts, among other provisions.

But don’t hold out much hope. At the current rate of progress on the issue, the gender wage gap won’t close until 2056, according to an analysis from IWPR. That's 2,537 days of free women's work.

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