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FastCompany | The gender wage gap costs taxpayers billions of dollars every year. This is how to fix it

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Mar 10, 2021

By now most of us know that women earn less than men. On average, it comes out to $.81 on the man’s dollar. This pay disparity manifests at every level of the educational attainment ladder; no industry is immune.

And while a difference of a few pennies doesn’t seem like much, it adds up to over $10,000 in lost wages each and every year. That’s $10,000 the average working woman could use to pay off student debt, support her child’s education, make rent, buy groceries, invest for retirement, save for a mortgage, or open a business. The wage losses are even greater for Black, Latina, and Native women. The average Latina, for instance, misses out on $29,098 every year due to pay inequity.

Inequitable wages, and thus lower household income, become a systemic problem when we remember a simple truth: As a nation, we cannot choose if we pay for people. We only choose how we pay for them. In other words, even if you’re not a woman and even if you don’t depend on one for your economic security, the gender pay gap impacts you. Because when companies don’t provide their employees with equitable pay (as well as equitable opportunities for advancement), your tax dollars bridge the gap.

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