UGH: This new study explains why the wage gap probably won’t be closing any time soon

We haven’t been able to share the most… optimistic news about the wage gap lately. For example, one recent study revealed that a common myth blamed for the wage gap — women not negotiating their salaries — is no longer relevant. A lot more women actually are asking for raises — but they’re not getting them. We also know that men frequently still earn more than women — even in women-dominated fields.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But the American Association of University Women (AAUW) researched the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, and things don’t look good. We need to talk about it so that we can prepare to fight.


According to the analysis conducted by AAUW, the wage gap is likely to not close for ANOTHER 136 YEARS.

Let that sink in — all women probably won’t catch up to men’s earnings until the year 2152.


So how did AAUW come up with this statistic?

Researchers used the Census data to examine economic trends across various demographics — gender identity, race, disability, geography, and sexuality. They also studied how the wage gap has VERY SLOWLY closed over the last 15 years. The 2015 data revealed that the average woman working full time earned 80 cents to a man’s dollar. (And we know that number is lower for women of color.) The year before that, Census data showed that women were earning 79 cents to a man’s dollar — as in things improved by ONE CENT.  


Combine that rate with economic trends and numerous demographic factors affecting women’s economic stability — and women won’t be able to catch up for over 100 years.

The full study, The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gapwill be published next week. In the study, AAUW Vice President of Research, Catherine Hill, discusses how geography and luck (in terms of who your manager is) currently decide how women fare under the wage gap — and advocates for the government to step in and create legislative protections. Hill adds:

“As disappointing as it is to see women’s overall wages remain stuck behind men’s year after year, it’s even more startling when we look ahead... A lot of attention today is understandably focused on the Census’ poverty numbers, but it’s also important to note the link between the pay gap and the number of women and children living in poverty and what that means for the future.


We can’t let these infuriating numbers stop us from fighting for economic equality — even though we have fought for so long. Instead, we must work to stop the statistic from becoming reality.

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