As of this year, women earn 79 cents for every dollar that a man makes. When controlled for industry and job title, the gap decreases to 94 cents for every dollar.
When it comes to how much women are paid, there are a huge number of factors that drive the wage gap. Many argue that part of the reason why the gap appears to decrease when controlled for position is that women are less likely to be promoted or hired for high-paying jobs. Studies have shown that despite starting in similar positions on average, by late-career 57 percent of men are managers or higher, while only 41 percent of women are. This is known as the opportunity gap.
Until the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, some banks still required unmarried women to have a man co-sign for them on a loan, regardless of income or creditworthiness. Women have been historically characterized as frivolous spenders and given lessons on budgeting and saving — but almost no financial education around investing and credit. This leads to a lack of confidence in women around finances. 92 percent of women want to learn more about financial planning, but only 47 percent feel confident when talking about finances with a financial professional.
While there are a large number of factors that affect how much women earn, a crucial step towards closing the wage gap is encouraging women to talk about their finances and talking to women about money from an early age. From having a conversation about their salary with a coworker, asking for a raise, or teaching young girls the power of investing, equality begins by forgoing taboos around money and encouraging open education and conversation.
Check out our infographic for more surprising statistics on the state of women and finances, and what we can all do to start the conversation.