January 9, 2014

There’s more to the story of the shrinking pay gap

The hourly pay gap between working women and men has narrowed to 16 cents today, compared with 36 cents in 1980. But progress has slowed in recent years and even reversed for many women over the course of their careers. Our new video takes a closer look at the nuances behind the pay gap and examines in new detail how different groups of young women entering the workforce since the 1980s have fared over time. One interesting finding is that many women have moved towards a larger pay gap as they’ve aged and dealt with the responsibilities of parenthood and family.

Today’s youngest group of working women is the first in modern history to start their working lives at near parity with men. But will the gap remain this close as these women age? That remains to be seen. We look at why the pay gap has narrowed and why it has persisted over time in this video produced by researchers Rakesh Kochhar, Kim Parker, D’Vera Cohn and Eileen Patten; informational designer Jessica Tennant and art director Diana Yoo; digital producer Andrea Caumont and digital editor Sara Goo.

More on women, men and the workplace:

On Pay Gap, Millennial Women Near Parity – For Now

Why It’s Great to Be the Boss

10 findings about women in the workplace

How Pew Research measured the gender pay gap

Who men and women prefer as their coworkers

Who’s the boss? In U.S. business, it’s mostly men

Topics: Work and Employment

  1. Photo of Rakesh Kochhar

    is Associate Director for Research at the Pew Research Center's Hispanic Trends Project.

  2. is an Editorial Web Producer at the Pew Research Center.

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1 Comment

  1. slk3 months ago

    what difference at this point, does it make, to pay different wages for the same job…PERIOD!!!

    Reply