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Ten Ways the Economy Doesn’t Work for American Women

The American economy has been in a recovery since the crisis in 2008, but it’s not working for everyone. Women, and women of color in particular, do not have the same economic outcomes as men and suffer the effects of gender inequality in many ways. Here are ten ways that the economy isn’t working for American women.

  1. Income gap: Women, on average, earn $0.82 on the dollar compared to men. This represents a widening income gap over the past four years. Source
  2. Income gap for women of color: Black women earn $0.61 for every dollar earned by their white male counterparts. Native American women earn $0.58 to every dollar, and Latinx women earn $0.53. Asian women $0.85 on the dollar. Source
  3. Income gaps start with first jobs: Women are paid 6.6% less than men in their first jobs, even after considering factors such as job location, occupation, college major, and number of hours worked. Source
  4. Unpaid labor: Women do considerably more unpaid work, from housekeeping to caring for children and the elderly than men in the United States. In fact, men do just 62% of the unpaid work that women do. The opportunity cost of this unpaid labor is that women have less leisure time and less time to work toward career advancement, costing them promotions and raises. Source
  5. Representation gap: Women make up 63% of workers earning the federal minimum wage. By contrast, women represent only 5% of CEOs at Fortune 500 firms. Source
  6. Wealth gap: Single women own $0.32 on the dollar compared to single men. Source
  7. Wealth gap for women of color: Single Black women have a median wealth of $200 and single Latinx women have a median wealth of $100. Source
  8. Savings gap: In 2017, American women held $42,000 in median retirement savings, compared to $123,000 for men—that’s ~300% more in retirement savings than women have, meaning women are at risk of running out of cash during their golden years. Source
  9. Home ownership gap: Women are more likely to be denied a mortgage and to pay more for a mortgage, despite a better track record of repayment. Source
  10. Effects of mass incarceration: Over 80% if the fees related to the criminal justice system are paid by women. Source

Take Action! If you’re inspired to close these gender gaps, let your company and political representatives know that you want change because equality will benefit everyone!