American women work 59 days for free

The disparity in pay between female employees and their male counterparts gives employers a 22.6% discount on labor.

By Jason Notte Feb 28, 2013 4:26PM
Image: Woman looking at coin purse © Meiko Arquillos, Getty ImagesWhat's it going to take for women to earn the same paycheck as men for the same job? About 60 extra days in a woman's year, apparently.


The Huffington Post and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research did some analysis and determined that women would have to work another 11 work weeks and four days a year to be paid the same amount as their male colleagues. Since women make only 77.4% of what their male counterparts bring home from the same job, they'd have to put in 22.6% more hours to earn equal pay.


Lawmakers haven't been especially proud of that disparity and approved the Lilly Ledbetter Act against pay discrimination back in 2009. They're currently pushing the Paycheck Fairness Act that would make it illegal for employers to fire workers for discussing compensation.


Still, a 2011 study from the Institute for Women's Policy research found that women, on average, make 82% of what their male counterparts make, while nearly half are either not allowed or are strongly discouraged by their employers from discussing pay information with co-workers.


According to the Democratic Policy and Communications Center, women make $434,000 less than men on average over the course of their careers. That starts right after college. Congress' joint economic committee says women make $7,600 less than men immediately following graduation. And it continues to the latter stages of their career, when Catalyst says women make up just 6.2% of top earners.


But that's OK, right? All that new legislation is going to make everything nice and equal, no? Kind of.


The gender pay gap is going to close, but the Institute for Women's Policy Research says it won't happen until 2056 at this rate. When today's workers' granddaughters finally achieve pay equity with their male coworkers, it will be because grandma worked an extra 2,537 days for free to make it happen.  


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86Comments
Feb 28, 2013 7:14PM
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Many Americans work pretty much for free, male and female.  Consider the millions who work for the average annual individual income and try to raise a family.  Now, consider Congress dragging in 176,000 annually for a part time job they do so poorly.  We need to join together and demand Congress no longer be allowed to set their own salary and benefits.  We need an opinion poll on each one to determine the next year's salary.  That would put them on a type of MERIT pay and it would weed out the ones who are there for money and benefits.  Those who truly want to serve would stay and serve the public interest.  It seems to me none currently in office can add or subtract. But, they can spend!!!
Feb 28, 2013 6:17PM
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If a woman works 2080 hours during a year and a man works 2080 hours during a year, assuming they started the same job at the same time for the same employer, with the same qualifications - this study says the woman makes only 77% of the pay that the man makes during that year.
This study isn't talking about a woman that only worked 1500 hours because she had a kid or whatever during the year, while the man worked a full 2080 hours for the year. It is talking about all things being otherwise equal - the woman gets screwed.
Feb 28, 2013 5:37PM
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how many days do we all work for free considering what government takes away from us? I bet at least 120???? so we're 1/3 slaves? nice.....
Feb 28, 2013 7:07PM
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I'm not surprised. I have been in the HVAC/Building controls industry for 17 years and I'm only 35. I started off as just answering phones then dispatch then service manager then outside/inside sales and just about everything in between. I have only worked for 2 employers, I have never been fired and have been employee of the month more than 5 times. Oh yeah I haven't called in sick in over 4 years yet all managers around me are men and most with less experience than me but make probably twice as much.
Feb 28, 2013 6:12PM
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It would be interesting if they compare time on job and other factors not just sex.
Feb 28, 2013 7:45PM
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BREAKING NEWS!!! BREAKING NEWS!!!! Idiots in Washington have gone home for the weekend!! No deal made!! Budget cuts go into effect tomorrow!!!   Breaking news!!!!  US working less women and US working less men!! Jobs lost!  Cuts in spending!! I am happy!! Maybe this is what we need to turn the voters in the right direction!!!!  Maybe this is what is needed for AMERICA to demand Congress not set it's own salary and benefits!!!  Maybe this is what is needed to DEMAND Congress get less money!!! Less healthcare!!!! Less contributions!!!! Less gitts and promises of gifts of value from lobbyist!!! And MORE TIME AT HOME!!!!  THank God, no deal!!!!  But, I still expect there to be some sort of "surprise" and chest pounding...."looky what we done....put us bak in office."  We don't have a deal, but 60 Million dollars si going to SYRIA!!!  WE've got a smart bunch in Washington.  Can't add or subtract, but they can lie......
Feb 28, 2013 6:25PM
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It is amazing that so many men think that all women suffer from PMS and that women don't have to put up with a lot of mood swings and just plain crap from the men around them.
Feb 28, 2013 7:16PM
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All I have to say after reading all the comments is wow!! 
Feb 28, 2013 8:12PM
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If this was true don't you think companies would be hiring exclusively qualified women over men?  In your personal experience have you seen equally qualified men and women hired at the same time being compensated at different rates?  Not likely.  You simply can't legislate total equality.  If a position's opening rate is subject to negotiation how can all parties be expected to be paid the same?  It's illogical.  If it were true all the factories in the world would have all women on the lines so the corp's could make more profits.  Alas, that doesn't happen because this exercise is faulty.
Feb 28, 2013 7:09PM
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This is terrible.  I've worked at jobs all my life, did my job and mostly my bosses and was never paid the same as my male counterparts.  My last job in insurance, I applied and applied for sales reps. jobs, but was told NO, a better male sales rep. got the job.  Then they asked me to train the new sales rep. After the 5th. time, I asked my manager would I ever be given a chance as a sales rep. He said NO, and he would deny that statement, if I spoke to anyone about it. He nicely told me he couldn't replace me in the job I did do, so wonderfully. I refused to train the last knucklehead they hired over me, stating that they said he was a better candidate than me, so he ought to be able to catch on wonderfully. He lasted 6 or 7 months and left the company. He could have crapped in the middle of the conference room and they wouldn't have terminated his employment.  Needless to say after 20 yrs., being that team leader they always talk about subsided. I did my job, only my job, didn't train anyone after that, never came in early, and never worked late.  Made sure I stayed busy at my desk, so I always looked busy. If someone asked me a question, which I normally knew the answer to, I said: I'm sorry, but I don't know the answer to your question. Maybe you should ask our male supervisor or manager. Needless to say, that was like telling you to drink out of an empty well. After a wonderful 20 years, numerous awards and letters from large companys (500 + employees) I was told I had to reapply for my job. Job restructuring they called it. I was over 40 and therefore replaceable. Out of 80+ employees, only about 6 were kept. My manager, sales manager, administrator, all top management plus everyone under them were terminated. Only the ones under 35 were kept and they were MALES. What did I learn: Don't be a team player, pretend to be. Don't help others out. They'll keep their jobs and you'll be terminated. I had all those wonderful reviews, wall awards, but no job or no pay. Numerous personnel managers (women) at these large companys I handled, were a great help in giving me wonderful references so I was able to get another job. But I've got to say, the pay was ALWAYS less than my male counterparts. This should change now, not in 2056 but NOW.
Feb 28, 2013 8:16PM
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It is amazing what you can do to get people angry by printing only part of the story. As long as woman are at war with men it sells newspapers, movies and blogs. None of the statistics quoted are true comparisons of actual hours and work at the same job. If the story was true no man could ever get a job because greedy employers would hire the cheapest labor possible. This is just to keep woman angry and it is working.

 

For example one study showed how male doctors made more money than females which was true, proving the point of the story. However, on a closer look they only reported on annual salaries but the hourly charges for men and women were the same. How can this be? The male doctors were working more hours per week and seeing slightly more patients per hour which earned them more per year but there was no difference per patient.

 

The bottom line is; it is important to some people to keep men and women at odds instead of letting them work together to solve even bigger issues.

Feb 28, 2013 7:05PM
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In my 25 years as a Supervisor and then a Manager, the highest absentee rates on my shift of 25 men and women were the women without any contest. They averaged 2 days a month being abseent for a variety of reasons.. When you use up your allotted sick leave, you go without pay.. Then as a Manager for 15 years covering 15 Supervisors and 161 men and women I really saw the difference and routinely had to sign approvals to dock the women and the occasional man for leave without pay, I did not want to because I knew how in some cases it would financially hurt them, but you just cannot give the Company's money, or the Taxpayers money away for someone who refuses to abide by the rules. There were special cases where Medical Documentation was provided but for the most part these people just did not want to come to work for unknown reasons that they chose not to reveal and I didn't care...It was their loss...So I see the Journalist and the Author of the Study left out a lot of real and true information which we have come to expect from the Media these days as being the "new Norm"...
Feb 28, 2013 6:36PM
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DE Lavi ... that's pure bull ... the study says nothing of the sort .. .you are only repeating conclusions ... not raw data ...
Feb 28, 2013 7:35PM
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BIG FRICKING DEAL.  I work 6 months a year for the GOVERNMENT to pay my taxes.
Feb 28, 2013 5:52PM
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Typical ..  the piece misrepresents the data by not including the WHY ... What other factors (other than salary differences) contribute to the the overall pay totals.  There are a lot of factors involved such as child bearing, homemaking, and other VOLUNTARY choices that women make regarding their careers.
Feb 28, 2013 4:39PM
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Why would anyone go to Olive Garden when most towns have a local Italian restaurant that actually make great food? 
Mar 1, 2013 12:06AM
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I am grateful that there are Women's Studies programs taught in the universities, so that young women can learn how to value themselves when they are culturally devalued nearly everywhere else.  The Constitution of the United States denies women full citizenship, and many religions behave similarly.   The best hope women have is in themselves and in their ability to negotiate in the workplace.  When the ERA passes, the need for a Paycheck Fairness Act may be a thing of the past. 

The vindictiveness in the workplace of intimidated men can be quite astounding, and the presence of intensely qualified women can set this off.  At this point, women absolutely require legal protection so that they are not penalized for any number of low self-esteem responses from the guys at work. 



Mar 1, 2013 9:16AM
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This is for the negative people to my blog.  I worked at this company 19+ years and I still have the awards from my company, I still have the copies of my reviews from my company and I still have the letters from the large companys stating I did a great job for them.  What I don't have is the same salary that my male counterparts got.  I'm sorry that this is still true in the workplace. It should have changed by now and gladly it has to some degree.  I don't regret no longer being a team player.  My company could never say I didn't do my job, I continued to do a great job.  But when a sales rep. came and asked for help, this old girl was not as anxious as before in helping and they knew why.  When one of those young college graduates couldn't do the job and they asked me to help, I would say I was really busy with MY work that I'm required to do.  I wasn't being paid to do 2 jobs, just my job.  It comes a time when even an employer has to asks itself, why this person can do the work and another can't. Accountability here.  So if I wasn't a team player, sorry Charlie, but it took a lot of years to realize that I was a Chump for doing double duty for so long.

 

Oh, by the way! That young person who reorganized everyone out of a job, including the management, male and female alike.  Well they were given a top management job for their good efforts in getting rid of all the 40+ employees.  But low and behold the person couldn't actually work and was fired shortly thereafter.  I sent her a thinking of you card and I quote: I told you that one day you'll be over 40 yrs. of age & this will be happening to you and I hope I'm around to see it.  Well I am. But you were fired for not being able to do your job. I was downsized for doing my job.  Also, a few weeks before I found out I had no job anylonger, I won a sales incentive, 2nd. place but pretty good.  I beat out everyone else.  This company knew I wasn't going to be kept on and wasn't going to pay me my prize (money) for doing this good job.  They paid me after my attorney called them.  Also I joined a class action suit and we won a settlement.  Understand this people.  If you do the job, you should get the same pay as a male person gets.  If you were being shafted, you would want to be paid the same.

 

 

Mar 1, 2013 12:03PM
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Here is an interesting article in Time Magazine
http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,2015274,00.html
Mar 1, 2013 11:16AM
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How many women are crane operators, electrical linemen and welders? Pay is higher for higher risk, higher skilled jobs. You can't just compare across the board. Nonetheless, much progress has been made by working women in recent decades and many fields are now open to them that we closed in the past.
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