Did you know a Hollywood actress revolutionized wireless communications? Or that the first computer programmer was a woman? Many of these women didn’t get credit for their work until long after their deaths, but their contributions and inventions have shaped technologies that have changed our lives and the course of history.
New research shows that the reality of today’s wage gap is more complicated than the figure often bandied about in Washington—“80 cents to a man’s dollar.” In fact, the gap might actually be much worse, yet much simpler to fix, than we assume.
According to a new analysis of historical wage data by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), the oft-cited 20 percent gap, which focuses on short-term earnings, misses the context of women’s lives. When mapped over 15-year periods, the long-term gender earnings gap might widen to as much as 50 percent.