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Playbook

Gender Pay Gap Persistent

October 27, 2014

An increasingly relevant topic in today’s workplace is the concept of the gender pay gap. While many dispute its existence, the fact of the matter is that women are still making less than men. Recent studies prove that the gender pay gap remains persistent and prevalent in the business world.

A 2014 study by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) indicates that wage inequities start early and worsen over time. “One year out of college, women working full time earn only 82% as much as their male colleagues earn,” stated the report. “Ten years after graduation, women fall farther behind, earning only 69 percent as much as men earn.”

In reaching its conclusions, the AAUW analyzed data from longitudinal studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Education. Researchers controlled for a variety of factors—such as occupation, college major, work hours, and the like—that might affect earnings. Still, 7% of the difference remained unexplained, with females still earning less. Said the AAUW: “Ten years after graduation, the portion of the gender pay gap that remains unexplained increases to 12%.”

Such findings are not unique. In 2013, The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics studied median salaries for males and females in various professions and found that, for example, female attorneys’ salaries lagged behind those of their male counterparts by an average of 21% per week.

Findings of women’s salary growth and advancement opportunities also showed some progress, but women still lag behind men in terms of wage growth.

The Journal of Human Capital released a study in the fall of 2014 which found that “Private-sector females with at most a high school education… are significantly less likely to be promoted in early career compared to males.” However, the study also noted that “these females are much more likely to be promoted in mid- and peak career not only compared to their own early career experience but also compared to that of their contemporaries (i.e., males and females with more schooling).” (Journal of Human Capital, 2014)

That same study, though, found that “women with either some college or more not only lag behind in promotions in mid- and peak career but do not receive the higher wage growth associated with promotions of their male counterparts” (Journal of Human Capital, 2014). While some progress has been made since the early 2000s, there is much more room for growth.

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About The Author

Chris Brown is a content marketing coordinator at the American Management Association. He graduated from the University of Delaware with a BS in Marketing and a minor in Italian.

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