DAVE & DUJANOVIC

ANALYSIS: The gender wage gap is bigger than you think

Nov 29, 2018, 3:48 PM | Updated: Sep 23, 2020, 2:32 pm
Just how big is the gender wage gap, really? It all depends on how you look at it. (Wikimedia Commo...
Just how big is the gender wage gap, really? It all depends on how you look at it. (Wikimedia Commons)
(Wikimedia Commons)

A new study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research claims that the gender wage gap is more drastic than we knew. For every dollar made by a man, the study says, the average woman only makes 49 cents.

The new number sharply contrasts with multiple other reports about the gender wage gap. The US Census puts the gender wage gap at 80.5 percent, while other calculations make it as narrow as 93 percent.

So which is right and which is wrong? On the Dave and Dujanovic show Thursday, we explored the math and found the wage gap in America changes depending on how you measure it. And by some measures, women really are making less than half as much as men.

Here’s our breakdown about what each of those statistics means.

93 cents on the dollar

Gender Wage Gap: 93%

The gender wage gap according to the American Association of University Women.

When men and women with the same experience work the same jobs, the gap isn’t quite as big, but it still exists.

In their first year out of college, all things being equal, women will make an average of 93 cents for every dollar earned by a man.

That number comes from a study by the AAUW, and it only applies if the man and the woman are working the same job with the same experience in the same part of America.

The gap starts to change, however, as time goes by. According to a study by Hired, the gender gap between men and women will increase by 6 cents over the span of eleven years, suggesting that male employees get better raises as time goes on.

Different jobs, also, have wildly different pay gaps, with some of the worst pay gaps showing up in careers that, historically, have dominated by men. According to a SmartAsset study, the worst gaps are in the financial industry. Female financial advisors, they say, only make 58.9 percent as their male colleagues.

The most equitable jobs seem to be ones that have been historically dominated by women. While financial workers see a larger gender wage gap, female nurses, retail buyers, and special education teachers are paid almost exactly as much as their male counterpoints.

80.5 cents on the dollar

Gender Wage Gap: 80%

The gender wage gap, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The gap gets a lot bigger, however, if we take into account that men and women tend to gravitate toward different jobs.

Women still tend to work in historically female-dominated trades at disproportionate rates. The most popular jobs for women in the United States, according to the Department of Labor, are teachers, nurses, and secretaries.

And those jobs don’t pay as well as the jobs that, historically, have been dominated by men. In fact, the top ten highest-paid jobs in the United States all continue to be dominated by men, while most of the lowest-paid jobs are dominated by women.

As a result, the gender wage gap between men and women, when we look at everyone in America, is a lot broader. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average woman only earns 80.5 cents for every dollar earned by a man.

49 cents on the dollar

Gender Wage Gap: 49%

The gender wage gap, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research’s study gives the darkest view of American income disparity yet. The average woman, by the math, makes less than half of the average man.

Unlike the first number, they weren’t comparing men and women who have the same job, and, unlike the Census Bureau, they weren’t just looking at one year. They looked at the average wage men and women made over the past 15 years – and when you add time to the equation, the gap gets a lot broader.

Women, they found, are far more likely to spend time unemployed, taking care of the family, with no income whatsoever. 43 percent of the women they surveyed spent at least one year with no earnings, compared to only 23 percent of men.

Culturally, the research found, women are still expected to take care of the kids, and that social pressure affects their incomes.

If all things were equal, the survey found women would make 93 percent as much as men – but they aren’t. Women still move into lower-paying jobs and take time off for family, while men still move into management roles and are encouraged to stay focused on their careers.

The study’s conclusion: we might be making strides of labor policy – but because of social expectations, the gender gap really is a lot bigger than what we’ve heard.

More to the story

When KSL Newsradio’s Dave & Dujanovic talked about this story on the air, Debbie Dujanovic said that one step toward fixing the gender gap in America would be to start talking about our salaries.

If you missed the show live, you can still catch everything they had to say on the Dave & Dujanovic podcast.

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon on KSL Newsradio. Users can find the show on the KSL Newsradio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on Google Play Music

Today’s Top Stories

Dave & Dujanovic

salt lake mayorMendenhall guns...
Curt Gresseth

After NY law is struck down, two Utah experts sound off on gun rights

Two advocates on either side of the gun-control vs. gun rights debate sound off on the Supreme Court's 6-3 ruling to expand the right to carry a firearm in public.
4 days ago
Salt Lake County Search and Rescue safely rescued a hiker  out of the Lisa Falls trail on Friday.
P...
Curt Gresseth

Search and rescue expert has tips for hikers

Before you head out on your hike, take someone with you, tell somebody where you are going and when you plan to return. Those are just a few words for hikers from an expert on search and rescue.
5 days ago
A fire engine is seen as the Sheep fire burns in Wrightwood, Calif., Monday, June 13, 2022. (AP Pho...
Curt Gresseth

Be Ready Utah: What to do when wildfires close in on your home

Will you be ready if wildfires close in on your home? A survivor of a wildfire shares his experience and an expert shares tips and advice.
6 days ago
(Photo Credit: CNN/Shutterstock)...
Curt Gresseth

What is behind rising credit-card debt? Financial expert weighs in.

A national expert explains the sudden rise in credit-card debt in April and what you can do to lower your monthly payments.
12 days ago
first time millennial homebuyer Utah...
Curt Gresseth

Housing market in Utah looking better for first-time home buyers, says real-estate agent.

Is the American Dream once again reachable for younger adults as the housing market in Utah slows? A real estate agent discusses the cooling housing market and what that means for first-time home buyers.
12 days ago
FILE - This Aug. 10, 2016, file photo, Evan McMullin speaks during an interview in Salt Lake City. ...
Curt Gresseth

If it’s Lee vs. McMullin, it won’t be a traditional Utah race, says political insider

An expert in Utah politics predicts Sen. Mike Lee will win the primary and will face independent Evan McMullin in the general election.
17 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
ANALYSIS: The gender wage gap is bigger than you think