What’s going on:
In the past two decades, not much progress has been made in the fight against the U.S. gender pay gap: women earned roughly 82 cents to every dollar men earned last year — a figure that has remained constant since 2002, according to the Pew Research Center.
Parenthood is a large factor. Mothers aged 25 to 44 who have children living at home are less likely to be in the labor force and tend to work fewer hours than their childless counterparts, which can reduce their earnings, although the impact may not be significant or long-lasting.
Fathers, on the other hand, are more likely to be in the workforce and to work longer hours than men without children at home, meaning they benefit from the “fatherhood wage premium” which contributes to the gender pay gap.
Why it matters:
No definitive answer can be provided for why the disparity in wages between men and women has stagnated in the 21st century. Although women generally start their careers on par with their male counterparts, as they age and advance in their professions, their salaries begin to lag behind
Even though more women than men now have college degrees, the gender pay gap continues to exist.
How it’ll impact the future:
New York recently introduced a salary transparency law, which allows for pay scales to be determined on the basis of job description and experience, rather than discriminatory criteria such as gender, race, religion, age and other demographics.
To combat the pay gap, in future companies will need to look at introducing salary transparency, as well as ensuring their practices are in favor of pay and gender equity.