The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap

Did you know that in 2013, women working full time in the United States typically were paid just 78 percent of what men were paid, a gap of 22 percent? The gap has narrowed since the 1970s, due largely to women’s progress in education and workforce participation and to men’s wages rising at a slower rate. But progress has stalled in recent years, and the pay gap does not appear likely to go away on its own.

Equal pay is not simply a women’s issue—it’s a family issue. Between 1967 and 2012, the percentage of mothers who brought home at least a quarter of the family’s earnings rose from less than a third (28 percent) to nearly two-thirds (63 percent).2 Families increasingly rely on women’s wages to make ends meet.