3 Major Ways the Gender Wage Gap Hurts Women’s Financial Security

Labor statistics published by the Senate’s Joint Economic Committee show women make 79 cents for every dollar made by men. This gender wage gap is even greater among women in minority groups. According to the Joint Economic Committee, Latina women make 55 cents for every dollar made by men. The pay gap has negative effects on the finances of women in the following ways:
  1. Less money for retirement: According to an analysis by the financial website NerdWallet, a man who saves 15 percent of his $50,000 salary has $2,800 to put towards retirement each month. A woman earning 21 percent less only receives $2,200 to put towards her retirement funds. Over the span of a career, these differences in savings amount to $300,000.
  2. Greater difficulty paying student loans: A recent study conducted by the American Association of University Women claims women who graduated between 2007 and 2008 paid 33 percent of their loans between 2009 and 2012. Men paid off 44 percent of their loans between those years. Women in this group also made higher payments than men.
  3. Insufficient funds for emergencies: Women who earn less money will have greater difficulty saving for emergencies. Unexpected job loss, hospital bills, vehicle repairs and other surprise expenses cause more financial harm to women.

Can We Close the Gender Wage Gap?

There are several possible solutions for closing the gender wage gap so women. If these solutions are successful, it would obviously put women on much better financial footing. One solution is to implement pay transparency. This would allow workers at a company to know how much their colleagues are making.

California recently passed its own solution, which many consider the toughest wage gap law in the country. The Fair Pay Act will bar employers from paying women less than male counterparts who have “substantially similar” job duties.

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