Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW) has released Women Can’t Win: Despite Making Educational Gains and Pursuing High-Wage Majors, Women Still Earn Less than Men, to take a closer look at why women make less than men in the workforce, despite impressive gains made in educational attainment recent decades.
The disparity in pay between men and women has existed for decades, according to the report. In 1975, a time when women attended college and participated in the workforce less often than men, women made just 57 cents on the dollar compared to men.
In 2016, wages have improved for women workers, who now make 81 cents on the dollar compared to men in 2016. The tightening of the gender wage gap is largely due to women earning more college degrees over the last forty years.
The number of associate’s degrees awarded to women began outnumbering those awarded to men during the 1970s. In the 1980s, the number of bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees awarded to women overtook the number awarded to men. By the 2000s, more women completed doctoral degrees than men.
Today, women outnumber men on every rung of the higher education ladder, but the wage gap has yet to be eliminated.
According to the report, even when controlling for education, college major, and occupation, women still earn only 92 cents for every dollar paid to men for doing the same job.
“Women’s earnings still lag their exceptional educational progress,” said Anthony P. Carnevale, lead author of the report and director of the Georgetown Center. “At the heart of the gender wage gap is discrimination in pay for the same sets of qualifications and experience.”
Without major social and legal changes, the report predicts women will continue to face an uphill climb in closing the gender pay gap.
As Women’s History Month comes to a close, the authors stress the importance of information and counseling about career choices for girls at an early age, as well as programs that help attract female talent to STEM and other high-paying fields.
View the full report here or click the image above for a video outlining the gender wage gap.