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Pay equity for women by 2059! Er… 2093?

Report: Wage Gap Narrows for Women Ages 25 to 30

Source: SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management)
By Kathy Gurchief

pay equityThe gender pay gap narrowed overall by 6 cents in three years, with women ages 25 to 30 seeing the most improvement in that time, according to a new report released in conjunction with U.S. Equal Pay Day on March 24. In 2017, women in that age group made about 79 cents for every $1 men made; that increased to 86 cents in 2020, a 7-cent gain.

Women earn less, on average, than men, and so must work longer for the same amount of pay. Based on its findings, Visier [an HR consulting firm] forecasts that women could achieve pay equity in about nine years at the rate the wage gap is closing.

Other projections are not as rosy. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research, for example, estimates pay equity won’t be reached until 2059. The American Association of University Women (AAUW) projects that women won’t achieve pay equity until 2093.


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Nick’s take

The Society for Human Resources Managers (SHRM) says its members can’t fix a national compensation problem. But HR is in charge of compensation. If SHRM can’t lead HR managers to a solution, how will HR managers lead their companies to pay equity? How much are companies paying those HR people, anyway?

What’s your take? Who’s going to fix the pay equity problem? Why do professional women’s associations say it’s going to take longer than HR says it will? Why do HR departments own compensation policy if they can’t manage compensation? Is this another reason to eliminate HR altogether?



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  1. I’ve never bought the premise of this statistic. I don’t know *what’s* wrong with it, precisely. Theories abound of varying rationality. All I know is that if you could realize a 15% cost savings on salaries, every CEO in the country would fire all their men and replace them with women. I don’t know many CEOs who would rather have men around than an extra 15% of salaries that drops right to their bottom line…

    • @Jacob: CEOs get to keep men around and still save 15% on women. When we don’t know “what” is wrong with something, that’s all we really know: that we don’t know.

  2. If women want corporate America so badly, let them have it.
    A lot of men have written off corporate America, myself included.

  3. Not to sound sexist, but how can we be sure that the reason that the pay equity gap is going down isn’t because the average pay of MEN is going down, thus moving toward that of women, rather than that of women going up toward that of men?

    I mean, technically if men’s pay went down enough, it would reach that of women, but fewer people would be able to pay the bills.

  4. After the recent Meghan Markle & Harry, Duke of Sussex interview with Oprah, Jimmy Kimmel said it best:

    “It’s funny that the Royal Palace has HR and it’s just as unhelpful as HR every place else,” Kimmel said.

  5. The claim that there is a gender wage gap is based on bogus statistics:

  6. @Borne: I watched it. She claims that pay disparity is due to different choices men and women make. But she doesn’t offer a shred of evidence to support her contention that the wage gap is bogus.

  7. This is a good presentation hosted by John Stossel, that includes input from various viewpoints on this topic: