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Gender Pay Gap Shrinks to Smallest Ever in U.S.

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New federal data released on Jan. 18 shows that in 2023 the gender pay gap in the U.S. narrowed to the smallest on record.

The median weekly earnings for all women were $1,031 last year—83.8 percent of what men were paid—according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). When considering race:

  • Black women earned 94 percent of what Black men earned.
  • White women earned 84.1 percent of what white men earned.
  • Asian women earned 78.3 percent of what Asian men earned.

SHRM Online gathered additional news on this topic.

Before 2023, the Gender Pay Gap Saw Virtually No Improvement in Two Decades

In 2022, women earned an average of 82 percent of what men earned—barely an improvement from 2002, when women earned 80 percent as much as men. The halt in progress over the last two decades is significant, as progress was made in the 1980s and 1990s.

(Pew Research Center)

It Could Take 131 Years to Close the Gender Pay Gap Globally

A report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) estimates that, globally, women won’t attain parity with men for another 131 years. Saadia Zahidi, WEF’s managing director, said in a statement that “women continue to bear the brunt of the current cost of living crisis and [labor] market disruptions.”

(World Economic Forum)

Generation Z Women Have Lower Salary Expectations

Even with pay transparency leveling the playing field, women still expect a little more than $6,000 less in their annual salary when compared with men. The lower pay expectations among this group of women highlight the longstanding issue of gender pay disparity.


Pay Transparency May Be Good for Business

SHRM research shows that pay transparency influences applicant behavior, as 82 percent of surveyed workers said they’d be more likely to apply for a job if the pay range is listed in the job posting. Further, 74 percent of respondents said they’d be less interested in applying for a job if the pay range is not listed.

(SHRM Online)

State-by-State: Salary History Bans and Pay Transparency Laws

SHRM has tracked the states, cities and other jurisdictions that have passed laws prohibiting employers from requesting salary information from job applicants and requiring employers to disclose the pay range for a position to applicants or employees.

(SHRM Online)

White House Working to Improve Pay Equity

President Joe Biden has taken executive action to raise the minimum wage that federal contractors are required to pay their workers. He has also promoted efforts to achieve pay equity for job applicants and employees of federal contractors.

“Equal pay is about justice and fairness and living up to our values and who we are as a nation,” Biden said on Equal Pay Day 2023. “Together, we have to make sure that our daughters have the same rights and opportunities as our sons.”

(The White House)


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