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10 Gender Wage Gap Statistics for 2021

Jen Dewar
Jan 29, 2021 12:11:20 PM

Eighty four percent of women are confident the gender wage gap exists, but 37 percent of men are not sure of, or do not believe, there is a gender wage gap. When in doubt, data can tell a story that supersedes one's opinion.

Whether you’re unsure if the gender wage gap is real, or want to quantify how deep it really is, read on for 10 statistics that show just how much there is to be done:

1. Women earn 82 cents for every dollar men earn

Women earn 18 percent less than men, resulting in an average loss of $10,122 over the course of a year.

This can vary by occupation or industry. For example, women in the legal profession earn 64 cents for every dollar earned by men, and women in the Finance and Insurance industry earn 76 cents for every dollar earned by men.

2. Asian women earn 87 cents for every dollar White men earn

Asian women earn 13 percent less than White, non-Hispanic men, translating to an annual median loss of $8,401 and hundreds of thousands of dollars over their careers. While Asian women as a group earn more than the average for all women, certain communities face a much wider pay gap. For example, Burmese women earn 52 cents for every dollar White men earn, Hmong women earn 61 cents, and Vietnamese women earn 67 cents. 

3. Black women earn 63 cents for every dollar White men earn

Black women earn 37 percent less than White, non-Hispanic men, resulting in a median loss of $24,110 every year of their careers. These pay discrepancies contribute to the wealth gap wherein a Black women’s net worth is less than 1 percent of the average White man’s. Additionally, Black women are almost twice as likely as white men to say that they’ve been laid off, furloughed, or had their hours and/or pay reduced because of COVID-19.

4. Native women earn 60 cents for every dollar White men earn

Native women earn 40 percent less than White, non-Hispanic men, which can vary by tribe. For example, Tohono O’odham women experience the largest wage gap and earn 54 percent less than White men.

The pay gap for Native women results in a median loss of $24,656 every year, and $977,720 over a 40-year career. A Native woman would need to work until she was nearly 90 years old to earn what a White man could earn in 61 years.

5. Latinas earn 55 cents for every dollar White men earn

Latinas earn 45 percent less than White men, and 30 percent less than White women. The pay gap varies by occupation, with a 51 percent gap between Latina sales professionals and their White, male counterparts, and a 28 percent gap between Latina nurses and their White, male counterparts.

Compared with White men’s earnings, the pay gap results in a median loss of $29,098 every year, and $1,121,440 over the course of Latina womens’ careers. This can vary by state; a Latina in California would lose $1,787,640 over a 40-year career.

6. Mothers earn 69 cents for every dollar fathers earn

Working mothers earn 31 percent less than working fathers, resulting in an average loss of $18,000 annually. This differs widely by race and ethnicity. 

For every dollar paid to White, non-Hispanic fathers:

  • Asian and Pacific Islander mothers earn 92 cents
  • White mothers earn 72 cents
  • Black mothers earn 54 cents
  • Native mothers earn 48 cents
  • Latina mothers earn 46 cents

The motherhood wage gap also varies by state. In Louisiana, for example, mothers are paid 59 cents for every dollar paid to fathers, resulting in a loss of more than $23,000 annually. And in the District of Columbia, Black mothers lose about $85,000 and Latina mothers lose more than $98,000 annually compared to White, non-Hispanic fathers.

7. The controlled gender wage gap shows women earn 98 cents for every dollar men earn

The gender wage gap shrinks when controlled for things like job title, years of experience, industry, location, and other factors—but it doesn’t close. Women still only earn 98 cents, on average, for every dollar men earn for similar roles. In fact, women are offered lower salaries than men for the same job title at the same company 63 percent of the time and that salary figure is 3 percent lower, on average. In New York, it’s 10 percent lower. 

The controlled wage gap is wider in some positions, including anesthesiologists, where women are paid 17 percent less than men. That equates to a $355,000 average salary for men, and a $296,000 average salary for women.

8. Executive-level women earn 69 cents for every dollar men earn

The gender wage gap widens as women progress in their careers. The uncontrolled wage gap shows that women in executive roles earn 69 cents for every dollar a man earns, while the controlled wage gap shows 95 cents. 

Black women at the executive level face a wider wage gap, earning 62 cents for every dollar White men earn. Even when controlled for compensable factors, Black executive-level women earned 93 cents for every dollar earned by White men.

9. LGBTQ+ women earn 90 cents for every dollar earned by non-LGBTQ+ men

LGBTQ+ women in tech earn 90 cents, and LGBTQ+ men earn 96 cents, for every dollar non-LGBTQ+ men earn. Women in same-sex couples have a median salary of $38,000, compared to $47,000 for men in same-sex couples and $48,000 for men in different-sex couples.

10. 60 percent of women have found that they were being paid less than a male colleague

Sixty percent of women have discovered they were being paid less than a male colleague, while 24 percent of men have found they were being paid less than a female colleague. The majority of those discoveries were made during conversations with coworkers. 

When employees brought these findings to their managers to have a salary discussion, 57 percent of men were given a pay increase compared to 50 percent of women. However, women were more likely to receive an improved job title, benefits, bonus, or stock options (7 percent of men and 10 percent of women).

Final thoughts on gender wage gap statistics

The data clearly shows the gender wage gap is real, and problematic. The uncontrolled wage gap shows the impact of women largely being hired into low-paying roles and industries. Meanwhile, many of their male peers are being offered higher starting salaries, being hired into better paying industries, and moving into leadership roles.

Further, the controlled gender wage gap is a clear signal of the biases that creep into the workplace and affect people from underrepresented groups. The only way to fight this inequity is with data. Track compensation metrics to watch for these biases playing out on your own team, and take steps to correct them during your regular compensation cycles.

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