The Gender Pay Gap by the Numbers

April 10 was Equal Pay Day. That means women had to work all of 2017 and until this day in 2018 to catch up with what men earned in 2017 alone. Get the facts about the gender pay gap and its impact on women and families.

By the numbers

On average, women in the U.S. are paid 20% less than men.1

If you break it down by race and ethnicity, the gap is even worse.

Black women are paid 38% less and Latinas are paid 46% less than white men.2

#20PercentCounts

To raise awareness of the gender pay gap and its negative effect on women and families, Lean In launched #20PercentCounts, the first of three public awareness efforts highlighting that equal pay matters.

Learn more
  • Adidas
  • Lyft
  • Proctor and Gamble
  • Reebok

Any way you look at it, there’s a gender pay gap.

When you control for important factors such as education, experience, industry, occupation, role, and hours worked, the pay gap still exists.3 And the gap actually widens at higher education levels.4

The gender pay gap starts early.

As early as age 16, women are paid less than men—and the gap only grows from there.5

Equal Pay 2018 Survey Finding

1 in 3 One in three Americans is not aware of the gender pay gap––and men are almost twice as likely as women to think it does not exist.6

The gender pay gap hurts families.

Lower earnings for women often mean less money for families. This impacts families’ ability to buy groceries, pay for childcare, invest in their children’s education, and more.7

Equal Pay 2018 Survey Finding

75% Almost 75% of Americans think it would be a major problem or crisis if they earned 20% less money.8

And if we closed the gender pay gap... The average woman would earn over $400,000 more during the course of her career.9

And if we closed the gender pay gap... 3.1 million working women and their families would be lifted out of poverty.10

Stories from women and their families

In partnership with P&G, we asked real women and their families about the impact of the pay gap.

We asked real women how the gender pay gap impacts them, here’s what they had to say.
Lean In Circle member Nkosa explains why closing the gender pay gap is just the right thing to do.
Lean In community member Gloria shares why it’s important to close the pay gap for her, her wife, and their daughter.

Equal Pay 2018 Survey Finding

75% Almost 75% of Americans think it would be a major problem or crisis if they earned 20% less money.8

The pay gap is also hurting women globally.

On average, women are paid 23% less than men worldwide.11

  • 20% United States 13
  • 17% United Kingdom
  • 11% Pakistan 17
  • 15% Israel 16
  • 37% Republic of Korea
  • 17% Botswana 18
  • 39% Malawi 19
  • 17% Mexico
  • 16% Brazil 14
  • 21% Chile
  • 11% Poland
  • 24% Russia 15
  • 14% Australia

Stories from women and their families

In partnership with P&G, we asked real women and their families about the impact of the pay gap.

We asked real women how the gender pay gap impacts them, here’s what they had to say.
Lean In Circle member Nkosa explains why closing the gender pay gap is just the right thing to do.
Lean In community member Gloria shares why it’s important to close the pay gap for her, her wife, and their daughter.
#20PercentCounts

To raise awareness of the gender pay gap and its negative effect on women and families, Lean In launched #20PercentCounts, the first of three public awareness efforts highlighting that equal pay matters.

Learn more
  • Adidas
  • Lyft
  • Proctor and Gamble
  • Reebok

Footnotes

  1. Institute for Women’s Policy Research, “Pay Equity & Discrimination,” https://iwpr.org/issue/employment-education-economic-change/pay-equity-discrimination/.
  2. Ariane Hegewisch and Emma Williams-Baron, “The Gender Wage Gap: 2016; Earnings Differences by Gender, Race, and Ethnicity,” IWPR #C459 (September 2017), https://iwpr.org/publications/gender-wage-gap-2016-earnings-differences-gender-race-ethnicity/. Black women are paid $0.625 for every $1 that white men earn, leading to a pay gap for Black women of 37.5%.
  3. Francine D. Blau and Lawrence M. Kahn, “The Gender Wage Gap: Extent, Trends, and Explanations,” No. w21913 (2016), National Bureau of Economic Research, http://www.nber.org/papers/w21913.
  4. AAUW, The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap (Fall 2017), http://www.aauw.org/aauw_check/pdf_download/show_pdf.php?file=The-Simple-Truth.
  5. Methodology: This SurveyMonkey online poll was conducted March 22–27, 2018, among a national sample of 7,461 adults, including 4,928 who are employed. The modeled error estimate is +/-1.5% among the full sample. Data have been weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over. Learn more.
  6. AAUW, The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap.
  7. National Partnership for Women & Families, “America’s Women and the Wage Gap” (April 2018), http://www.nationalpartnership.org/research-library/workplace-fairness/fair-pay/americas-women-and-the-wage-gap.pdf; “Black Women and the Wage Gap” (April 2018), http://www.nationalpartnership.org/research-library/workplace-fairness/fair-pay/african-american-women-wage-gap.pdf; “Latinas and the Wage Gap” (April 2018), http://www.nationalpartnership.org/research-library/workplace-fairness/fair-pay/latinas-wage-gap.pdf.
  8. SurveyMonkey poll, March 22-27, 2018.
  9. National Partnership for Women and Families, The Lifetime Wage Gap, State by State, (April 2018), https://nwlc.org/resources/the-lifetime-wage-gap-state-by-state/.
  10. Institute for Women’s Policy Research, “The Impact of Equal Pay on Poverty and the Economy,” IWPR #C455 (April 2017), https://iwpr.org/publications/impact-equal-pay-poverty-economy/.
  11. United Nations Women, “Wage Gap” (Feb 2017), http://interactive.unwomen.org/multimedia/infographic/changingworldofwork/en/index.html.
  12. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, “Gender wage gap” (2018), https://data.oecd.org/earnwage/gender-wage-gap.htm. All global pay gap data is from this source unless otherwise noted.
  13. Institute for Women’s Policy Research, “Pay Equity & Discrimination.”
  14. International Labour Organization, “Gender wage gap by occupation” (2018), http://www.ilo.org/ilostat/faces/oracle/webcenter/portalapp/pagehierarchy/Page27.jspx?subject=EAR&indicator=EAR_GGAP_OCU_RT&datasetCode=A&collectionCode=YI&_afrLoop=1489433251963702&_afrWindowMode=0&_afrWindowId=do2tflhjw_1#!%40%40%3Findicator%3DEAR_GGAP_OCU_RT%26_afrWindowId%3Ddo2tflhjw_1%26subject%3DEAR%26_afrLoop%3D1489433251963702%26datasetCode%3DA%26collectionCode%3DYI%26_afrWindowMode%3D0%26_adf.ctrl-state%3Ddo2tflhjw_45.
  15. Ibid.
  16. Ibid.
  17. Ibid.
  18. United Nations Development Program, “Africa Human Development Report 2016” (2016), http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/librarypage/hdr/2016-africa-human-development-report.html.
  19. Ibid.