Addressing the Gender Wage Gap

This series page provides resources on the gender wage gap and sex-based pay discrimination, as well as policy suggestions to help improve pay equity and reduce discrimination in the workplace and beyond.

People wear face masks as they wait in line
People wear face masks as they wait in line to attend a job fair for employment. September 2021, in Inglewood, California. (Getty/Patrick T. Fallon/AFP)

2023 marks the 60th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits sex-based discrimination in wages. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also protects against wage discrimination based on factors including race, color, national origin, and sex. These laws require that employers pay employees equally for performing equal work—meaning work that requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility and is performed under similar working conditions. Despite these legal protections, however, women continue to face a significant gender wage gap.

The gender wage gap is calculated as the ratio of women’s median annual earnings to those of men. Women of color experience some of the largest wage gaps, due to the impacts of intersecting gender, racial, and ethnic biases. The gender wage gap reflects a range of issues, including occupational segregation, where women are overrepresented in low-paying jobs and underrepresented in high-paying ones, and exists in nearly every occupation and at every level of worker education.

This series page provides research on the persistent gender wage gap; highlights recent state and federal actions to improve women’s economic security; and advocates for policy solutions to secure equal pay, such as the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would strengthen equal pay protections, prohibit employer retaliation, and limit employers’ reliance on salary history in pay-setting during the hiring process.

In this series

Compact View

5 Facts From the 2022 Wage Gap Data Article
Photo shows a well-lit open kitchen area with chefs preparing food behind the counter and a server picking up plates

5 Facts From the 2022 Wage Gap Data

New data show that in 2022, women working full time, year-round typically earned 84 cents for every dollar men made, and when comparing among all workers, including those who work part time and for part of the year, women typically made 78 cents.

Isabela Salas-Betsch

Five Facts on Older Women in the Labor Market Fact Sheet
Image showing a female grocery store employee putting pre-cut fruit onto a shelf.

Five Facts on Older Women in the Labor Market

Older women have made significant recoveries from their disproportionate labor force declines due to the pandemic and will become a larger share of the labor force in the coming decade, but there are many women in this age group who face barriers to enter and stay in the labor force.

Beth Almeida, Sara Estep

Quick Facts About State Salary Range Transparency Laws Article
Wide shot of people at job fair

Quick Facts About State Salary Range Transparency Laws

Over the past few years, an increasing number of states have passed, or are considering passing, salary range transparency laws as one measure to help close the gender pay gap.

Becca Damante, Lauren Hoffman, Rose Khattar

Recent Legislative and Executive Acts Represent Promise for Women’s Economic Security Article
Photo shows the back of a woman walking her dog on the lawn in front of the U.S. Capitol building on a sunny day.

Recent Legislative and Executive Acts Represent Promise for Women’s Economic Security

Women and their families should find some current financial pressures—fueled partly by the gender wage gap—alleviated by recent policy wins, particularly if policymakers prioritize implementing new pathways to good jobs for women in the years ahead.

Lauren Hoffman, Rose Khattar, Beth Almeida, 1 More Isabela Salas-Betsch

Women of Color and the Wage Gap Article

Women of Color and the Wage Gap

Women of color continue to suffer the most severe gender wage gap in the United States, a reality that reflects the effects of intersecting racial, ethnic, and gender biases that threaten the economic security of them and their families.

Robin Bleiweis, Jocelyn Frye, Rose Khattar

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