3 ways the gender pay gap still hurts women

The year is 2018, and men and women are still not getting paid equally for the same work responsibilities. Women face financial penalties at work and at home that follow them throughout their career, creating cycles of being underpaid. With knowledge comes power.

Here are the numbers on ways women continue to get underpaid so that we can help end these cycles of inequity sooner rather than later:

It gets worse as women age

Across every industry and role, the average woman in 2018 only earns 77.9 cents for every man’s dollar, according to a new PayScale report that surveyed 46,000 respondents evaluating job offers. By the time women are over 45, that gap widens to 69.1 cents for a man’s dollar.

Opportunity gaps led to wider pay gaps. There are not enough women in the corner office commanding higher pay.

By the middle of their career, 60% of women are still in individual contributor roles, while only 52% of men are in these roles. Men were more likely to jump into higher-level managerial roles by the middle of their career, which led to more pay.

“Workers in higher-level roles almost always earn a higher salary, so the lack of women in these roles means the average woman is almost certainly destined to make less than the average man,” the report concluded.

Taking time off hurts women

The PayScale report found that women are more likely than men to take time off work to care for a family member or a child.

Extended breaks of more than a year are not looked upon favorably by employers. When they return to the workforce, women are going to make 7.3 percent less on average.

Women in finance face the biggest gap

The pay gap, unfortunately, exists in all industries, but some women in industries face harder battles to be paid equally than others.

When not controlling for various factors like seniority, women in finance face the biggest gap, making 73 cents on the dollar. Female consultants also fared worse than men, making 79 cents on the dollar, while women in healthcare made 81 cents on the dollar.