Women earn less than men in all kinds of surprising situations

Lauren Tara LaCapra
Elena Scotti/FUSION

A depressing new study shows just how difficult it is for women to get paid as much as men: Regardless of educational attainment, age, industry, support from workplace role models or whether they received leadership training, women earn less than men in the same circumstances.

PayScale Inc, a company that collects and analyzes compensation data, came to these conclusions after surveying 1.4 million full-time U.S. employees between July 2013 and July 2015. Overall, the company found that women earn 74 cents for every dollar a man earns. When adjusting for factors like job title, industry and years of experience, PayScale found women earn 97 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn.


If things stay the same, the median woman can expect to achieve a lower salary than her equivalent man over the course of their careers.

And the age at which the median woman reaches that salary is younger, meaning her male counterpart will earn more for a longer period of time.


Katie Bardaro, PayScale’s vice president of data analytics and lead economist, said one surprising discovery of the study was how wide the pay gap is between men and women in similar employment circumstances who say they often prioritize home and family obligations over work.

“The largest pay gap exists between married mothers and married fathers who indicate that they prioritize family over work obligations at least once a year,” she said. “However, we see no pay gap at all between single men and women without children who say they never prioritize home and family over work.”


Also interesting: the gap exists regardless of how much time women spend in school.


Nor does the career path a woman chooses necessarily matter much when it comes to equal pay with men.


Even if women get leadership training, male counterparts who did the same will still get paid more.


The gender pay gap has gained attention lately, becoming an issue in the 2016 election, and gaining the attention of celebrities as well. California has been making progress on the issue, but there's a long way to go. And because pay secrecy gets in the way of progress, strategically discussing pay with co-workers can help.

I oversee Fusion's money section and have spent most of my time as a journalist writing about banks and finance. I live in Brooklyn with my partner Geoffrey & our two dogs, Captain & Tallulah. Favs: leopard print, Diet Coke, gummy candy, Ireland.

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