What Are the Costs of the Wage Gap?

 

Because of the wage gap, more women than men fear— and experience— poverty, or teeter right on the edge. They are missing almost a quarter of their rightful earnings—money that few women can afford to miss.


Eleven million older American women (and only four million older men)make do with less than $8,300 a year, the federal definition of poverty. Nearly three times as many women as men live at subsistence level in their old age.


The wage gap isn’t some meaningless abstraction. It adds up. It takes a personal toll. Discrimination is costing women (and their loved ones) the paychecks, pensions, and security that they need and deserve.

  • A high school graduate loses $700,000. A young woman graduates from high school this year and goes straight to work at $20,000 a year. Over her lifetime, she will make $700,000 less than the young man graduating with her.
  • A college graduate loses $1.2 million. A young woman graduates from college into a $30,000 starting salary. Over her lifetime, she will make $1.2 million less than the young man getting his diploma in line right behind her.
  • A professional school graduate loses $2 million. A young woman gets a degree in business, medicine, or law and graduates into a $70,000 starting salary (along with staggering student loan debts). Over her lifetime, she will make $2 million less than the young man at her side.

What would you, your daughter, your mother, your niece, your grandmother, or your sister do with another $700,000, or $1,200,000, or $2,000,000 over your lifetime?







 










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