The Gender Wage Gap Can Spell Poverty in Retirement

The U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee recently released a report that spotlights the gender pay gap and how it will affect the economy down the line. It reports that women currently make approximately $11,000 less per year than men based on median annual earnings. Although that is better than what women made when they predominately entered the workforce in the 1960s, at this rate the gap will not close until 2059. This adds up to nearly a half million dollars lost during the course of a career.

The study found that women typically make the same amount as men in the beginning of their careers, but by the time they are in the middle (ages 45-54), they make approximately 70-percent of what their male counterparts make, creating a problem with saving for retirement. Women’s median income in retirement is 56-percent less than men’s and females are expected to live an average of an additional two years longer than men. This translates to more women living in poverty as they age, and having less of a disposable income. The median income for women in retirement in 2014 was approximately $17,000.

Nearly all industries are affected by the gender wage gap, but the wage gap in the tech industry may not be as prevalent according to Dice, a career site for the industry. However, Payscale reports a 3-percent difference in income for women and men in the math and science fields, although that is significantly less than what many other fields are experiencing.

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