Three Things You Need to Know About the Wage Gap

You’ve probably heard about the wage gap in the news lately – the phrase “79 cents to the dollar” seems to be everywhere. The idea that men and women are paid different salaries for doing the same job sounds antiquated, but unfortunately, it’s prevalent in most industries. Here are the three most important things to know about the wage gap for your business.

It’s Not An Even Split

Though some might assume pay is purely an issue of gender, race and age are factors as well. The oft-quoted 79 cents applies to white women, while black women are usually closer to 60 cents for every dollar earned by a white man, and Hispanic woman only 55 cents. Women’s salaries also tend to plateau more quickly as they age, whereas men can expect to see pay increases for their entire career.

Women Aren’t In Highly Paid Positions

Many claim that the wage gap is a result of differences in education and experience between men and women, but a recent study conducted by says otherwise – the biggest contributing factor to the wage gap, according to their findings, is the fact that women don’t hold as many highly paid positions as their male counterparts. While it’s reasonable for a CEO to be paid more than a junior analyst, the fact that women are often systematically barred from those kinds of positions presents a different problem.

It Starts Early

Another study from highlights one of the roots of the wage gap: the fact that companies are offering new female hires between 3% and 30% less than they offer new male hires for the same positions. This number gives employers a clear goal. In order to start closing the wage gap, they need to be aware of how they can sow equality in their own businesses and take action steps – starting with their hiring practices.