gender pay gap

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Our roundup after Equal Pay Day shows women are both less and more equal than we think — it all depends on the industry and the location

There’s been a national movement to pay men and women equally for almost 40 years. It’s given rise to Equal Pay Day and a lot of talk, but not a lot of action.

Like we said last week, women may still have decades more to go before getting equal pay. It’s even longer for minorities.

To see how different groups are handling the epic pay gap; we took a look around to see how much was happening right now. Here’s a roundup of the most interesting stuff we found about how the pay gap is affecting women…

Even Congress knows it’s bad

Maybe earning 78 cents for every dollar doesn’t sound like a huge difference, but what about $500,000? The Joint Economic Committee says women earn an average of $10,500 less per year than their male peers, which can add up to half a million dollars over the course of a career. Wouldn’t you be upset if you were getting stiffed six figures just because of your sex?

It’s even worse for women of color. Black women make 62 percent of what white men do, while Hispanic women make 54 cents for every dollar.

Higher education = higher salaries? Not quite

At colleges and universities across the country, the pay gap looks like it’s closing, but it’s really not. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, pay percentages increased in year-over-year average salaries, but “the pay gap widened or stayed virtually unchanged.” That’s because male faculty members already earn more than women.

“In 2014, male full professors earned $113,766. Their 2.8-percent increase added nearly $3,200 to that figure,” the report says. “For female full professors, who earned an average of $95,692; their 3.1-percent increase resulted in a pay increase of less than $3,000. As a result, the pay gap for full professors widened by more than $200.”

While the rate increase may sound good in theory; it goes to show that even when you’re in the positive; it can still really be negative.

From education to art: the gap isn’t closed yet

When it comes to art museum leadership, women are making huge strides as directors. The New York Times says women lead nearly half — 48 percent — of all art museums in the country. Unfortunately, the biggest ones still pose a big problem.

“A gender gap persists at the largest museums — those with budgets of $15 million and higher, where just 30 percent have female directors,” the Times says. Basically: the bigger the budget a museum has, the less likely a woman will be running it.

According to a new report from the Association of Art Museum Directors, museums running on $15 million a year or more are less likely to have a female in charge. The lower the budget, the more likely a woman is a director. Women run 54 percent of museums with less than $15 million budgets.

The AAMP also says a woman makes 73 cents for every dollar a man does for the same position. This salary is actually down from 2013.

It turns out it’s not just at art museums. The pay gap varies at different kinds of museums. AAMP says women directors earn 69 cents for every dollar a man does at “encyclopedic” museums. The gap was closest at “culturally specific” museums, where a woman will make 91 cents for every dollar her male equal does.

Women are running — the world, that is

No matter what the pay says, women run the world, at least according to Fortune’s World’s Greatest Leaders list.

Two years ago, when the leaders list began, Taylor Swift was the highest-ranking female in the top 50 leaders, and the first of 14. In 2016, there were 23 women. This year, for the first time, there is a lady-led majority with 26 women on the list.

In 2015, Melinda Gates shared a spot with her husband, Bill. This year she got her own, as the fourth-greatest world leader and the most powerful female. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given out more than $37 billion worth of grants since its foundation 20 years ago.

Make money, get (equally) paid

Claire Wasserman decided she couldn’t take it anymore and last summer founded Ladies Get Paid — a New York-based advocacy group that works to get women the same paychecks as men.

With more than 4,000 members from across the country and the world, women share their experiences about workplace issues and how to fight for equality. They can come together in local community meetups or virtual chats to talk about the issues they face, how to combat workplace sexism, and what to do when you want to fight pay disparities.

Ice cold cash-out

Here’s the poster country for equal pay: Iceland might become the first country in the world that would require companies to prove they are paying men and women equally for the same job.

While it’s currently just proposed legislation, the New York Times says Iceland is already doing a pilot program to prove if this move would be effective. The country has had equal pay laws on the books for decades, but there is nothing that requires businesses to prove it.

Bad news brings good actions

If you’re upset about how bad women have it and are motivated by what Claire Wasserman and Iceland are doing for women’s equality, great! Thankfully, they aren’t alone in their work.

Knowledge is power, and Lincoln Financial Group says 88 percent of women feel more motivated about planning their financial futures when they actually understand what they’re planning.

Lincoln is making sure women are more knowledgeable about money so they can be more powerful about future financial decisions. The Financial Education and Empowerment Campaign specifically targets businesswomen to take charge of their financial futures through their WISE (Women, Inspiring, Supporting, and Educating) Group, social media conversations, nonprofits (Dress for Success, IT is for Girls, and Girls Incorporated) and by pairing women employees with the right tools for equality in the workplace.

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Meet the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn


Zinn is a freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.


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