Young women are more likely than their male counterparts to hold a college diploma, yet they are still more likely to live in poverty, according to a new report from the Institute for Women's Policy Research.
While 36 percent of millennial women have at least a bachelor's degree, just 28 percent of millennial men can say the same. Yet young women earn less in every state except one and have higher rates of poverty in every single state in the nation.
Women are also much less likely to own their own businesses, according to the institute, which focuses on how different policies impact women.
Outright discrimination may be at play in some cases, but women are also more likely to take time off to have babies and raise families than men, which can slow the trajectory of their careers. While women have pushed for more comprehensive maternity policies, (mostly male) lawmakers have not made them a priority. Women are also less likely to work in lucrative fields like computer science and engineering, and they are underrepresented at all levels of government, where the policies that impact them are developed.
Despite the fact that they are more educated, women are still disproportionately likely to hold lower-wage service jobs and to lack opportunities to climb a career ladder. That's especially true for African-American and Latino women.
According to the report, if men and women who are the same age, have the same level of education, work the same hours and live in similar locations received the same pay, the poverty rate for working women would be cut in half to roughly 4 percent.
While women are better off now than a decade ago in 21 states, the report argues, they are actually faring worse in 29 states.
A recent report from Pew Research Center found that four out of 10 people surveyed think women have to do more than their male peers to succeed, and almost as many said the country is "not ready" to see women in power.
“We haven’t found in our studies that the majority of young women are motivated to reach those leadership positions,” Kim Parker, lead author of that report, told Fusion in January. “Part of it may be an attitude adjustment on the part of women to be willing to go for it.”
Emily DeRuy is a Washington, D.C.-based associate editor, covering education, reproductive rights, and inequality. A San Francisco native, she enjoys Giants baseball and misses Philz terribly.