In observance of Equal Pay Day (March 31, 2020), PayScale has updated our tremendously popular Gender Pay Gap Report for 2020. Since we have started tracking the gender pay gap, the difference between the earnings of women and men has shrunk, but only by an incremental amount each year. There remains a disparity in how men and women are paid, even when all compensable factors are controlled, meaning that women are still being paid less than men due to no attributable reason other than gender. As our data will show, the gender pay gap is wider for women of color, women in executive level roles, women in certain occupations and industries, and in some US states.
Recently, pay equity has been thrust under a glaring media spotlight. The #MeToo movement of 2018, which began as an outing of sexual harassment and sexual assault, cascaded into analysis of gender inequality in the workplace in 2019, encompassing not only pay inequity but also barriers to advancement and representation of women in leadership. In addition, several high-profile class action lawsuits have made pay equity a hot topic in executive boardrooms across the country.
Our research shows that the uncontrolled gender pay gap, which takes the ratio of the median earnings of women to men without controlling for various compensable factors, has only decreased by $0.07 since 2015. In 2020, women make only $0.81 for every dollar a man makes.
The controlled gender pay gap, which controls for job title, years of experience, industry, location and other compensable factors, has also decreased, but only by $0.01 since 2015. Women in the controlled group make $0.98 for every $1 a man makes.
New to the gender pay gap report for 2020 is analysis on the impact of lost wages on lifetime earnings. By calculating presumptive raises given over a 40-year career, we find that women in the uncontrolled group stand to lose $900,000 on average over a lifetime. Lost earnings narrow to $80,000 for the controlled group, but this is still significant, especially if you consider how lost earnings due to the gender pay gap would grow with compound interest if invested each year for 40 years.
To illustrate the importance of the gender pay gap in more detailed terms, we also looked at the top 20 jobs with the highest gender pay gap. Here, the gender pay gap ranged from $0.83 (Anesthesiologists) to $0.90 (Sales Representatives) for the controlled group, showing that the gender pay gap is very real and larger for women in certain occupations.
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