With all the news coverage and heated campaigning for men and women to receive equal pay for equal work, one would tend to think the wage gap between males and females would be getting smaller. Not so, as per data obtained by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR).
The latest facts report that there was a reverse in progress in 2015, moving the ratio of women’s to men’s median weekly full-time earnings from 82.5% in 2014 to 81.1% last year. This makes the gender gap 18.9% in 2015, up from 17.5%.
Despite the gap, both men and women saw an overall increase in earnings for the year, though men had larger growth. On average, women earned 0.9% more while men’s earnings upped to 2.6% – a noticeable disparity.
Along with gender differences in wage, data was collected for race and ethnicity gaps as well. For women, blacks saw the least when it came to wage increases. Their wages increased by a mere 0.5% compared to Asians at 4.2%, Hispanics at 3.2%, and whites at 1.1% increases.
How Change Can Affect Poverty Levels
IWPR analyzed the findings from 2015 and came to the conclusion that if women were paid the same as their male counterparts, the poverty level would drop by more than half – 8.2% to 4.0%. “Data like these help contextualize the economic impact of pay inequality, not just on individuals but on the nation as a whole,” said IWPR President and MacArthur Fellow Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D. “If policymakers are serious about addressing inequality, in terms of both race and gender, closing the wage gap would be a good place to start.”
When hiring males and females with comparable education, background, experience, and status, does your company pay equal wages for equal work? This is a question every HR department at every company needs to ask themselves for a better future not only for women, but the nation as a whole.
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