By now, we’ve all heard the statistics: Women earn, on average, about 80 cents to a man’s dollar—and factors like race, age, and whether or not she has kids can cause her to earn even less. These lost wages add up, and it gets even more sobering when you track the financial losses over a lifetime.
For Equal Pay Day 2019, Time magazine calculated just how much less the average woman might bring home over the course of her life. The magazine used 2018 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, noting that the average woman between 25 and 34, who works full-time, earns 87% what the men in her age group do on a weekly basis. However, women between 55 and 64 who work full-time only earn 75% of what their male counterparts do.
Using this information, Time found that an average woman working from 16 to 70 will make $590,000 less than the average man during that same period. That’s right—the pay gap causes women to lose about $600,000 over the course of their working lives.
Of course, this number is just an average, and women of color face an even higher gap over the course of their lives. The National Women’s Law Center estimates that Latinas earn an average of $1.13 million less over the course of a 40-year career than the average man, while black women earn more than $946,000 less. The lifetime wage gap also varies based on which state you live in.
We’re feeling frustrated, if not entirely surprised, to learn just how much the gender pay gap costs women. We can’t wait for the day when this blatant inequality is a thing of the distant past.