It's still a man's world. And to make a man's amount of money over her career, the typical working women would have to put in an extra decade of work.
The typical full-time working woman stands to miss out on $443,360 over 40 years because of the gender wage gap, according to an April report from the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC). That means a woman would have to work 12 years longer then her male counterpart just to break even.
NWLC calculated the long-term effect of the wage gap by multiplying $11,084 (the earnings gap between full-time working women and men in 2011, as estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau) by 40 (the presumed length of a typical career).
Progress is not inevitable. Indeed, the pay gap between male and female workers actually expanded last year, the first such increase since the beginning of the recovery, according to a March study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.
Part of the problem is that females represent the majority of minimum-wage workers, Katherine Gallagher Robbins, a Senior Policy Analyst at NWLC, told the Huffington Post. Almost two-thirds of minimum-wage workers are female, and women make up the majority of workers in the ten largest occupations that pay less than $10.10 an hour, according to a NWLC analysis.
Women also are losing a larger share of of jobs in some higher-paying industries. In 2012, women suffered disproportionately from public sector job cuts , and job growth in the private sector has remained sluggish for women during the recovery.
Discrimination plays a role as well. A 2007 study published in the American Journal of Sociology discovered that women who were mothers were recommended for lower starting salaries than female coworkers who didn’t have children.