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Study: Equal Pay for Women Still Elusive

The Institute for Women's Policy Research finds women won't receive equal pay until 2059. Credit: StartUpStockPhotos/pixabay.com
The Institute for Women's Policy Research finds women won't receive equal pay until 2059. Credit: StartUpStockPhotos/pixabay.com
September 24, 2015

BALTIMORE - There's been a delay in equal pay for women. They won't earn as much as men until 2059, according to a report by the Institute for Women's Policy Research.

Study director Jessica Milli says the median income for women working full-time was more than $10,000 less than men in 2014. Milli says more needs to be done to close the gender wage gap, not only because women deserve to be paid equally for their work, but because it's hurting families and the economy overall.

"If you were to add up the earnings gains that women would get if they were paid the same as men," she says. "So in the same occupations, for the same hours of work - that would amount to an extra $450 billion into families' pockets."

Milli admits the pay gap between women and men isn't always due to unfair employers - more women work in occupations that historically have paid less. Still, she says, policies to modernize overtime pay regulations, increase access to affordable child care and mandate paid family leave would go a long way to help shorten the time women will have to wait to be paid the same as men.

Women aren't the only ones seeing paycheck problems. The report found neither women nor men saw a significant increase in inflation-adjusted earnings compared with 2013. Milli notes for decades, women have been adding more education and job experience to their resumes, but says that hasn't translated into higher earnings fast enough.

"Those losses due to the wage gap really add up," she says. "Women lose about $530,000 by the time they reach the age of 59."

Milli says losses over a career for college-educated women can be as high as $800,000.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MD