Women Lose $530K Over Lifetimes Due To Gender Pay Gap

News & Views | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 03/12/2015 | 01:15 PM EDT

Institute for Women's Policy Research finds that when it comes to wages, men continue to leave women in the dust

The gender pay gap is costing women big time.

A working woman loses more than half a million dollars over her lifetime because of reduced wages due to her gender, according to a new study. “The Status of Women in the States” report also found that educated women have it worse, as they earn $800,000 over their lifetimes less than equally qualified men.

"When you see the impact over a lifetime, it is really quite striking," said Cynthia Hess, who directed the "Status of Women in the States" study for the Institute for Women's Policy Research.


The organization has been tracking national trends of women’s wages over the last 15 years, and to no avail men continue to leave women in the dust when it comes to earnings--even when they have the same qualifications and hold the same positions.

One of the study’s main findings is that female employees born in the 1950s who worked full-time, year-round missed out on more than $530,000 by age 59. That number is quite astounding.

In addition to that, The Status of Women in the States found the following:

Women in New York have the smallest pay gap. They make about 88 cents for every dollar earned by their male peers. In Louisiana, with the widest wage gap, women earn 67 cents to every dollar pocketed by working men.

The gender pay gap won't close nationally until 2058 — and not until 2159 in Wyoming — if progress continues at its current pace.

Washington, D.C. was the best place for working ladies, thanks to the highest annual salaries — an average of $60,000 — and lots of manager-level positions.

West Virginia was the worst state for women because it has the second-highest wage gap and fewest females in the labor force.

But all hope isn’t lost for women in America. Last year, President Barack Obama signed an executive order mandating contractors to publish data by gender and race to ensure compliance with equal-pay laws. Obama urged businesses and the government to do more to hire women and achieve gender equality, which he argues will lift families out of poverty and allocate more resources to child care, college tuition and retirement savings.

Still, many have understandably said the president’s executive order doesn’t do enough.

(Photo: Elenathewise/Getty Images)

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