Based on today’s wage gap, women would lose $406,760 over the course of a 40-year career. For Latinas the career losses mount to $1,135,440, and for Black women the losses are $946,120. If we don’t act to close the wage gap, a woman just starting out today stands to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of her career, undercutting her ability to provide for herself and her family, as well as her retirement security.
This “lifetime wage gap” exists across the country: in nearly every state, women’s career losses based on today’s wage gap would amount to nearly one-quarter of a million dollars or more — and in six states women’s career losses would amount to more than half a million dollars.
And the situation is even worse for some women of color living in certain states. Compared to the earnings of white, non-Hispanic men, the lifetime wage gap would amount to more than $1 million for Asian women in one state, for Black women in nine states, for Native women in 10 states, for Latinas in 26 states, and for Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander women in 6 states.
The cost of the wage gap over a 40-year career, or the “lifetime wage gap,” is based on the latest data on the difference between women’s and men’s median annual earnings for full time, year round workers, multiplied by 40 years. Figures are not adjusted for inflation. Overall wage gap figures calculated by NWLC are based on 2017 American Community Survey Data. Figures for Black women, Latinas, Asian women, Native women, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander women and white, non-Hispanic women calculated by NWLC are based on 2013-2017 American Community Survey Five-Year Estimates. For the purposes of this analysis, D.C. is considered a state.