Haters gonna hate. It's an adage that Taylor Swift, Donald Trump, and anyone arguing the existence of the gender wage page knows all too well. Despite the World Economic Forum reporting that women in every country face a wage gap, far too many people continue to claim the gender wage gap is a myth. While shutting down these haters can be exhausting and at times downright maddening, it needs to happen. And when it comes to clapping back against wage gap deniers, it's best to arm yourselves with facts.
While the gender pay gap might differ by year and by location it is still very, very real. In the United States, U.S. Census data from 2015 shows that women working year-round and full-time were, on average, paid 80 cents for every dollar a man received, according to an analysis by the American Association of University Women (AAUW). However, this statistic is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to discussing the complexities of the gender wage gap. This is issue is anything but simplistic, but it is incredibly visible nonetheless.
And while addressing those who are unwilling to see it, here are seven wage gap statistics you can use to shut down wage gap deniers.
1. The Gap Is Global
According to the World Economic Forum's 2016 analysis of 144 countries, women receive 10 to 30 percent less pay globally than men for work of equal value. In the United States, 2015 U.S. Census data shows women working year-round and full-time were, on average, paid 80 cents for every dollar a man received, an analysis by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) found.
2. Progress Is Coming At A Glacial Pace
While the wage gap between men and women is smaller now than it was some 50 years ago, the rate of progress has slowed over time. According to the Economic Policy Institute, progress in closing the wage gap stalled in the mid-1990s. While a study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research estimates the gender pay gap won't close in the United States until 2059, a report from the AAUW claims more recent lags in the rate of progress will push the closure of the gap back to 2152. Globally, the World Economic Forum estimates the gender wage gap won't close for another 170 years if progress continues at its current rate. That means a woman born tomorrow will sadly never see an end to the global wage gap.
3. The Gap Is Wider For Women Of Color
The gender pay gap is all too often discussed as one number. But the truth is, women of color experience a wage gap that is significantly larger than the one most often reported. For example, although women are on average reported as receiving 80 cents for every dollar men receive, recent numbers show black women are, on average, paid 63 cents for every dollar paid to non-Hispanic white men. Latinas receive 54 cents for every dollar a non-Hispanic white male earns.
4. The Gap Persists Regardless Of Education
A 2014 report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers concluded that while women were obtaining higher education degrees at a slightly higher rate than men, they continued to earn less on the job. The AAUW came to a similar conclusion in their most recent analysis, concluding that, "At every level of academic achievement, women's median earnings are less than men's median earnings, and in some cases, the gender pay gap is larger at higher levels of education."
Now let's take a look at what that gap might look like. In 2016, the Center for American Progress reported that data collected from federal financial aid recipients showed working men 6 years after they enrolled in college earned approximately $4,000 more per year than working women 10 years post enrollment. Furthermore, a 2015 report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) found women with graduate degrees were experiencing the widest gender pay gap and earning just 69 percent of what their male colleagues made.
5. The Gap Exists Across Nearly All Occupations
A common argument brought up by wage deniers is that women simply choose lower-paying occupations. First, it's important to note that women routinely face a variety of barriers when it comes to "choosing" their profession, including discrimination in male-dominated industries and receiving biased information regarding what careers are open to them. That being said, each year the U.S. Census tracks the earnings of more than 300 occupations. Out of those occupations, women in 2016 made less than men in all but five of the detailed occupations, the Center for American Progress reported.
Even in jobs that have more female representation than male representation, such as teachers, maids, and nurses, women were found to be making less than their male counterparts, according to the Center for American Progress. For example, an analysis of data collected between 2009 and 2013 by the American Community Survey found female elementary and middle school teachers were earning a median salary of $956 a week, compared to the $1,096 their male counterparts earned each week.
6. Women Are Breadwinners Too
Some people – like this dude from Utah – argue that men need to make more money than women because they are breadwinners, to which I say, "Hi, we're not living in the 1950s anymore." While my apparently "radical" views about female breadwinners can be traced directly back to the hardworking single mother who raised me, research shows women are increasingly taking on the role of sole or primary breadwinner. According to an analysis of 2015 data by the Center for American Progress, 42 percent of mothers were the sole or primary breadwinner for their family.
7. Equal Pay Boosts More Than Just Women
According to the Institute for Women's Policy Research, poverty for working women would be reduced by half if women received equal pay. That same study also found wage equality between the sexes would add $482 billion to the economy. Moreover, research shows women account for a majority of U.S. consumer spending. For instance, the women's consumer advocacy organization WomenCertified reported that women spend $4 trillion annually to make up 83 percent of all consumer spending in the United States.
It makes sense then that if women were paid equally and thus took home higher lifetime earnings than they do now, the U.S. economy would certainly receive a boost.
Even by itself, any one of these arguments should be convincing enough to change wage gap deniers' minds. And that's exactly what needs to happen in 2017.