The future is a weird, unpredictable, kind of scary place (or time. Whatever). Luckily, there are experts who are able to use stats and projection to figure out what the figure will maybe look like! Unfortunately, that sometimes leads to projections like this one regarding when the gender wage gap will close: Women will apparently be paid less than men for the next 118 years if the wage gap keeps going at its current rate, according to the World Economic Forum. As a comparison, 118 years ago, women couldn't vote.
There are still a lot of variables with this kind of thing — for example, some catastrophic event could upend the current social order and create an oppressive matriarchy in which all men only work as cabana boys. Or, less drastically, companies could adopt measures to close the pay gap that succeed in increasing the rate at which it closes. That could happen! But, you know, it probably won't, considering how stubborn the wage gap has been in the face of other societal changes — for instance, women are more likely than men to go to college in the United States, and still the gap persists.
Here are some of the crazy things that will happen before the wage gap closes, because honestly, this shouldn't be some far-out science fiction scenario:
1. In 2030, Arctic Summers Will Be Ice-Free
Of course, so far climate change has happened faster than models have predicted, so this might occur even sooner. Meanwhile, women in 2030 will be paid what men were paid back in 2006.
2. In 2035, Humans Will Travel to Mars
According to NASA, anyway. Some private missions to Mars are planned before even that, though many experts believe these will not come to fruition.
3. Also in 2035, We'll Meet the First Trillionaire
Statistically, not likely to be a woman.
4. In 2040, The Singularity Will Come To Be
The technological singularity — when robots will get so intelligent they'll be able to do tech self-improvement, creating a kind of of intelligence explosion — is the most future-y thing it's possible for me to imagine, and even that will occur far before wage equality, according to experts! Though maybe our robot overlords will be magnanimous and insist upon equal pay?
TV shows and commercials will be able to use "Love Me Do" for free before women will achieve wage equality with men.
6. In 2100, Venice Will Be Uninhabitable
So be sure to travel there now, while you can! They also have a relatively small wage gap!