Today is Equal Pay Day, the day when women’s earnings “catch up” to men’s earnings from the previous year. In other words, it takes a woman from January 1, 2015 to April 12, 2016 to earn the same as a man earns in 2015. Women, in 2016, make just 79 cents on the dollar compared to men.
Being a woman, in fact, will cost you over $430,000 over your lifetime. Obviously, that varies depending on the state in which you live, and your race, but on average, that figure is astounding.
The gender pay gap doesn’t just affect a woman’s earnings. It also affects her retirement security and student loan debt, to name just a few factors. The Huffington Post writes:
No matter which forms of savings we consider – 401(k) plans, IRAs, or emergency savings – women, on average, have less available to them than men. The fact that women are typically paid lower throughout their working lives only exacerbates women’s economic insecurity in the future.
Single women nearing retirement are much more likely than single men to fall short in their retirement savings, and women on average have less money saved for retirement, are less likely to participate in retirement plans at work, and have fewer emergency savings compared to men.
Time also examined the impact the gender pay gap has on student loan repayment, citing one study that found women working full-time had on average paid off 33% of their student loan debt, compared to men working full-time having paid off 44% of theirs four years after graduation. As you can probably expect, African American and Hispanic women working full-time had been able to pay off less than other women – less than 10%.
It’s 2016, and we’re still talking about the gender pay gap. We can’t wait another 5, 10, 20 years or longer to remedy this issue. It’s simple: women should be paid the same as men for the same work.