Women are paid less than men—and that hits harder in an economic crisis.
Get the facts about the gender pay gap.
What you need to know
How it works
Why it matters
Women are losing out on millions
The pay gap is not about a single paycheck. Over the course of a career, the lost income can add up to over a million dollars.
Average lost income over a 40-year career due to the pay gap12
Did you know?
The pay gap widens the wealth gap: In other words, how much women are worth, or how much they own. Single women own 32 cents on the dollar compared to single men. And shockingly, single Black women and Latinas own less than two cents on the dollar compared to white men.13
Families are on the frontline
Mothers are breadwinners in half of U.S. households—meaning their families depend on their paycheck. When moms are paid less, they have less money for basic family necessities like rent, groceries, and school supplies. Over time, this impacts families’ ability to invest in savings, higher education, or property.
Share of mothers who are breadwinners14
The pay gap is a global problem
Around the world, women earn 23% less than men.16 However, the pay gap doesn’t paint a full picture of women’s economic equality. Other factors like workforce participation and access to credit hold women back—and at the current rate, it will take 257 years to close this economic gap.17
The gender pay gap by country18
- 18% United States
- 17% United Kingdom
- 36% Pakistan
- 21% China
- 26% Republic of Korea
- 29% South Africa
- 10% Malawi
- 16% Mexico
- 26% Brazil
- 24% Chile
- 21% Poland
- 25% Russia
- 13% Australia
Closing the gap benefits everyone
Closing the pay gap isn’t just a win for women—it has social and economic benefits too. If women were paid fairly, we could cut the poverty rate in half and inject $512.6 billion into the U.S. economy.19