CHARTS: How Unequal Pay Is Even More Unequal For Some Women

Today is Equal Pay Day, the day that women completed the extra 3.5 months of work they needed in order to make an equal amount to what men earned in 2011. And while it is fairly common knowledge that women make 77 cents for a man’s dollar in the workplace — which is why we need to work 15.5 months to match a man’s 12 — it’s not as well known that the pay gap is much worse for some women than others. For instance:

Women make less by industry: Women tend to work in lower-paying industries: 68 percent of jobs in education are held by women, as are 78 percent of health and social assistance jobs. But even within those industries where they are the vast majority of employees, women are paid significantly less than their male counterparts. This chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the percentage of men’s income that women make in given sectors. In some of the biggest industries for female employment, men still make significantly more:

Black and Latina women are still struggling much more than their white counterparts: While women make less than men, black and Latina women make significantly less — black women make just 69 cents, and Latinas just 60 for every dollar made by men. At the same time, women of color are more often single mothers and thus the primary earners for their families. This chart from NYU’s Wagner school illustrates (PDF) the wage disparities:


Women with higher education face a larger pay gap: ThinkProgress has learned that women face the largest pay gap on Wall Street, and that even CEOs of lobbying firms get paid less if they’re women. But there’s a greater trend. The more that women pay into their education, the less they get out compared to their male peers. According to an analysis from the Center for American Progress, “The lifetime wage gap for a woman who did not finish high school is $300,000, while the lifetime wage gap for a woman with at least a bachelor’s degree is $723,000.”

Today may be the day we commemorate Equal Pay Day, but many women will have to work additional months just to collect the same pay that men got in 2011. Even if the gap were closed today, women (especially older women) may not have enough months left to make up the wages lost over their lifetimes, which can total hundreds of thousands of dollars.