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Millennial women narrow wage gap

Nevertheless, a new study says, young working women says men are more likely to get the top jobs.

By Money Staff Dec 11, 2013 6:58PM

This post comes from Brenda Cronin at partner site The Wall Street Journal.


The Wall Street Journal on MSN MoneyYoung women just entering the work force have the narrowest pay gap with men they likely will have in their careers -- but that hasn't brightened their view of overall equality in the work place.


That's among the conclusions of a national study out Wednesday from the Pew Research Center on attitudes toward work and pay. The center queried more than 2,000 adults ages 18 and older for the survey, and focused particularly on responses from "Millennials," or individuals between ages 18 and 32.


Women with laptop © Getty ImagesThe gender pay gap in the U.S. has barely budged in almost a decade, with women earning 76.5 cents for every dollar that men did in 2012, according to Census data on median annual income for full-time workers. Among workers ages 25 to 34, the hourly wage gap is considerably narrower, with women earning 93 cents for every dollar men did last year. For all workers, ages 16 and older, the hourly wage gap is wider, with women earning 84 cents for each dollar men do. However, the Pew report notes that Millennials can't necessarily count on their narrower wage gap to persist throughout their careers.


Scholars have put forth a host of reasons to explain part of the wage gap, including women choosing less-remunerative fields or positions, and taking time off to have children or care for family members.


"Millennial" women have a dimmer view of their work-place possibilities than their male counterparts, the study found, possibly influencing some of them to lower their career expectations. Among women ages 18-32, 34 percent said they wouldn't be interested in becoming a boss or a top manager, compared with 24 percent of the same-age men who said they weren't inclined toward such potential responsibilities.


When the reverse question was put to older workers, 58 percent of men and 41 percent of women in Generation X (ages 33 to 48) said they aspired to be the boss or a top manager some day. Among Baby Boomers (ages 49 to 67), 32 percent of men and 21 percent of women said they would like to have one of the lead jobs.


Young women were more likely than men to agree with the notion that men generally earn more than women for doing the same work, as well as the idea that being a working parent makes it harder to advance in a job or career. The researchers also point out that while 75 percent of young women say more must be done to foster equality in the workplace, just 15 percent of them say they have experienced gender discrimination on the job.


Among all workers of all ages surveyed, 73 percent of men and 72 percent of women saw male and female workers having equal access to climb to the top positions. Education played a factor in the results, with 50 percent of male college graduates and 71 percent of female college graduates saying it was easier for men to get top jobs. Among those without college degrees, 34 percent of men and 47 percent of women said the same.


More from The Wall Street Journal:





Dec 11, 2013 7:17PM
There is no wage gap.  Keep in mind, 84 cents on the dollar is just the overall average.  A woman with a law degree and 5 years experience working in a law firm makes just as much as the man with the same law degree and the same amount of experience working in the office across the hall. 

These articles always fail to point out that in almost all cases, women who work the same job as men earn equal pay, assuming their education and/or experience level is equal.
Dec 11, 2013 9:59PM
There is a jobs blockade. What difference does this make? If we don't have an economy and can't get one going soon... China buys us for $6.32 and all debt instruments previously purchased. Makes the $24 bucks and beads Indians sold us Manhattan Island for-- peanuts. Show me the women who own enterprises and earn whatever their abilities can generate. Paying people wages to push paper and buttons is ridiculously futile in a Great Depression. Where are the women-owned enterprises?
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