10 appalling statistics on the gender wage gap and how we can change it

Wage gap

You’ve probably heard of the term “gender wage gap,” but you might not have known much about the actual gender pay gap statistics. Research shows that the average woman makes $0.82 for every dollar an equally-qualified man makes. For women of color, the wage gap is even larger.

So, why is there a wage gap? And what is the wage gap? These are a couple of questions we seek to answer in this article.


Gender pay gap statistics can be truly shocking, and the difference gets even more abhorrent when you factor in race.

This is how much women earn for every $1 that a white man earns:

  • Hispanic women: $0.55 
  • Native Hawaiian women: $0.63
  • Pacific Islander women: $0.63
  • Black women: $0.63 
  • White women: $0.79
  • Asian women: $0.87

In 1963, the Equal Pay Act made it illegal for employers to treat people differently for the same work because of their age, race, or gender. Now, people can sue based on wage discrimination claims. Still, it hasn’t gotten rid of the gender pay gap. 

Societal Expectations

Even though gender stereotypes may be less pronounced than they once were, there are still certain societal expectations that permeate American culture. Women are expected to be homemakers, caring for the family and taking on more of the workload at home, while men are expected to be the breadwinners. 

Taking the initiative and being eager to learn are just a few ways you can excel in your job and close the wage gap. 

The Pink Tax

Studies show products marketed to women often cost more. The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs found women pay 8% more for adult clothing, 7% more for accessories, and 4% more for children’s clothing.

Women also typically spend more on hair maintenance and aesthetic services. They often have a larger wardrobe to look the part or meet societal norms. That’s on top of feminine care products that are added to women’s monthly bills as well.  

These extra costs can take a real chunk out of a woman’s bank account. And remember, that’s in addition to the wage gap between men and women.


Women hold nearly two-thirds of the total American student loan debt. That amounts to almost $929 billion across the nation. There are many reasons for that. 

For starters, men are more likely to prioritize their salary when choosing a major. Also, women are twice as likely to accept an unpaid internship, while men are more likely to start their careers earlier. 

Additionally, women are more likely to seek out higher degrees to prove their expertise and worth in order to close the gender wage gap. This only leaves them even further in debt. 


Studies show women are much more likely to experience sexual harassment than their male counterparts. Some of those interactions are quid-pro-quo offers, which is when women are told they can advance their careers for sexual favors. 

As such, women may feel pressured to accept the harassment in order to move up in their careers. This can create situations in which women feel pressured to the point where they leave their jobs entirely. In turn, they never get to advance in their careers, which only furthers the gender wage gap. 


Historically, the gender wage gap widens after becoming a mother. Men are more likely to be promoted while women forgo the ability to move up in their careers because of their child, creating a larger wage gap for women who are also mothers.

When women become pregnant or transition back to work after having a new baby, there’s often pressure to carry on as normal, as though they aren’t growing and raising a baby. Pregnancy comes with hormonal changes, exhaustion, discomfort, and more. Trying to pretend those things aren’t happening only creates more stress.

To get ahead of these pressures, talk to your managers and create a plan that works for your needs as you’re pregnant and raising a child. 

It’s also a good idea to read up on guidance for women’s career growth to learn more about how to set specific, attainable, goals, and maintain a better work-life balance.

Closing the Wage Gap

Here are a couple of ways you can work to close the wage gap in your life. 

Negotiation Tactics

One of the factors contributing to the gender wage gap is that employers don’t tend to raise pay unless they’re pressured into doing so, and men are much more likely than women to negotiate for higher salaries. 

Go here for fantastic tips on how to negotiate your salary, including highlights like emphasizing your own worth and preparing yourself for pushback.

Take Matters Into Your Own Hands

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “We need not wait to see what others do.” Take that to heart and build your own business! Then, you’ll know the policies in the workplace are ones you’d want to live by.

You can find tips here on how to start a business. Also, go here to learn more about how to have your business labeled a Minority and Women Certified Enterprise. 

Equality is the Future of the Workplace

In order to erase the wage gap, it’s crucial to have conversations in the workplace about it. That means taking time to advocate for yourself. If you believe you aren’t being paid appropriately, talk to your employer immediately and make sure your concerns are addressed. 


What are three factors that contribute to the gender wage gap?

Women are less likely to negotiate higher salaries, more likely to be harassed, and more likely to take on a heavier workload in their homes.

Is there a wage gap between males and females?

Yes, there is a wage gap between men and women.

What is the pay gap in 2022?

Women with the same qualifications and experience earn 82 cents for every dollar a man makes in 2022. That wage gap is even more pronounced for women of color.

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