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Mind the Gender Wage Gap

Women’s Equality Day—or the 93rd anniversary of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote in the US—happened this week, which meant that the gender wage gap received its share of hearty online debate. From the political side (the White House, as it happens, has its own Tumblr) came a chart borrowed from another Tumblr, I Love Charts, that showed that not only does the gender pay gap exist for high-educated American women with professional degrees, but it actively widens with time. By their late 30s, men with professional degrees reportedly earn 50% more than their female counterparts in comparable fields.

Women in low-earning fields don’t fare any better, reports The Washington Post’s Wonkblog. The paper cites a new study released by the Economic Policy Institute, which says that women in the restaurant industry earn less than men across the board. The disparity only widens as women move up in rank, with female managers earning least in comparison with males holding the same positions.

This gap isn’t limited to the US. In the UK, female bosses earn 35% less than male execs, according to the CMI’s National Management Salary Survey.

One solution: Increased wage transparency. President Obama signed an Executive Order in April to encourage pay transparency in the US (though its effects, so far, have yet to be determined). In the UK, Opportunity Now director Kathryn Nawrockyi has been quoted in favour of organizations making their wage data public, deeming this move “a good way to encourage openness and transparency” and “eradicate bias, both conscious and unconscious.”

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