April 4 was Equal Pay Day, drawing attention to the lower wages paid to women in our country and advocating for a more level “working” field. Women make an average of 82 cents for every dollar a man earns.
The good news? Women’s pay is advancing and moving closer to parity.
The bad news? Progress is slow. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research analyzed women’s wages across the nation, and concluded that “in 13 states, a woman born today would not see equal pay during her working life.”
The problem has multiple sources. Women suffer lost and lower wages due to their time out of the workforce while raising children or caring for other family members. They often lack the negotiation and other skills that would earn them higher wages, and gravitate toward professions and positions that pay lower wages and benefits to men and women. And of course, at times they are affected by outright gender discrimination.
The sad reality is that women need more, not less money, to cover their longer and more expensive retirements. If you are a woman in the workforce, weigh carefully your choices before opting for time off. Save diligently. Max your workplace benefits. Further your education so you can qualify for higher-pay positions. And learn more about those all important personal finance issues that can determine whether you become confidently and financially independent, or remain forever anxious and uncertain about your financial future.
A great way to start learning? Check out our blog articles saved under the Women and Money topic heading. We have a wide range of articles and pointers that will help you in your everyday financial life!