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Here's The Truth Behind The Gender Wage Gap

What's really going on with the 78% of a man's salary women earn?

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It was first cited by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2013. They calculated the average man's salary as compared to the average woman's and found a 22% difference. The average American woman earns 78 cents of a man's dollar.

This average varies across professions and does not consider experience, education, or time off from work.


Because of this wage similarity at a young age, 50% of women under 35 don't believe the wage gap will affect them.

Another contributing factor is that, on average, women choose or are only able to attain lesser-paying jobs than men.

The U.S. Department of Labor found that the highest-paying job in 2013 was anesthesiologists, 27% of whom were women in 2014. Of the second highest-paying career, surgeons, women compose 35%.


There are only two full-time jobs in the U.S. in which women earn the same or 1% more than men: stock clerk and health practitioner tech support.


Yet these statistics are not taking into consideration the race wage gap, which is even more disparate.

Black women are actually employed in more higher-paying, managerial positions than black men, but nowhere near the same amount as white men.


The most common managerial positions for black women are in education, health care, or social assistance; for Hispanic women, office or administrative positions.

According to the Census Bureau, Hispanic women have a much higher birthrate than non-Hispanic women, and are much more likely to be unmarried mothers. This contributes greatly to their lower income.

So if your co-worker decides to give you a lecture on the "wage gap myth" on Equal Pay Day, you'll now have these statistics to shut him (or her) down.


Ema O'Connor is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.

Contact Ema O'Connor at

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