The gap in how much money men and women earn has been a part of the U.S. economy for a long time.

Although the pay difference has undoubtedly got smaller since the 1960s, progress has slowed down in the last decade.

According to specialists, it is a dynamic that has significant problems for women’s financial well-being and security.

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Speaking to CNBC, Elise Gould, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute – a left-leaning think tank – said: “You’ll find that no matter how you measure it, a pay gap exists.

“It has a huge impact on lifetime earnings.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2020, women made 83 cents for every dollar earned by men.

Therefore, it would take 40 extra workdays to achieve the same wage as men.

Women of color have an even more significant disadvantage.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Hispanic women were being paid 57 percent and black women 64 percent of what white men were paid in 2020.

Richard Fry, a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center, said: “There’s still a significant gap, and it hasn’t narrowed a lot in the last 15 years.”

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In 1960, the average wage gap was much more extensive; women earned 61 cents for each dollar a man would make.

Fry said women had made considerable work experience and education advancements, which employers usually reward with higher pay.

According to Pew, younger women are more likely to get enrolled in college than young men, and women aged 25 and over are more likely to have a college degree.

Americans have witnessed massive amounts of change in U.S. laws and culture.

Emily Martin, vice president for education and workplace justice for the National Women’s Law Center, said there is stricter enforcement of pay discrimination laws and expectations.

People are more understanding of women in the workforce.

Experts say that the pay gap continues when we constantly compare women to men across education levels, income, occupation, and race.

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In recent studies by Gould, it was found that there has been very slow progress over the last two decades.

In 2021, women made roughly 80 cents for every dollar of male wages; this was little change from 77 cents in 1994.

Shortening the gender wage gap depends very much on public-policy changes.

There’s been some action made towards pay equity – Just under two dozen states and cities have banned employers from asking candidates questions about their pay history.

Martin said that if we take action ourselves, it can help influence change too.

That might involve attempting to break the barriers around pay secrecy.

We can do that by encouraging employers to be more open in sharing details and decision-making about pay in the workplace.

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