little progress with gender wage gapAccording to an Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) fact sheet released by the U.S. Census Bureau, the gender wage ratio improved slightly from 76.5 percent in 2012 to 78.3 percent in 2013 and categorized by the Census Bureau statistically significant. Moreover, an IWPR analysis finds that, if current trends are projected forward, women will not receive equal pay until 2058. This date is unchanged from last year, further indicating stalled progress in closing the gender wage gap.

Overall, women’s median annual earnings in 2013 were $39,157, compared with $50,033 for men. Real full-time year-round earnings for all women were 2.1 percent higher in 2013 than in 2012. Hispanic women saw the largest increase in real wages, as their earnings increased by 4.8 percent, while Asian women saw the largest decrease in real wages, with their earnings 6.5 percent lower than in the previous year. Real earnings changed by less than 0.5 percent for white and black women.

According to an additional analysis by IWPR, the poverty rate for working women would be cut in half if women were paid the same as comparable men. Nearly 60 percent (59.3 percent) of women would earn more if working women were paid the same as men of the same age with similar education and hours of work.

A lack of transparency about pay prevents many women from knowing that they are being paid less than their male counterparts. IWPR’s research has found that more than half of working women are either prohibited or strongly discouraged from discussing their pay with their colleagues. The gender wage gap in the federal government, with high levels of pay transparency, is only 11 percent, compared with 22 percent nationwide.

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