Women are not making financial gains in the boardroom, according to the latest data released from the Census Bureau. In 2012 — just like the year before, and very close to every other year in the past decade — women earned just 76.5 cents for every dollar that their male counterparts did.
The average annual salary for full-time women was $37,791, while the average full-time salary for men was $49,398.
"We are disappointed by the Census Bureau's latest economic snapshot showing that the gender wage gap remains stagnant," said Linda D. Hallman, executive director and CEO of the American Association of University Women in an interview with the Huffington Post.
She added, “Unfortunately for women and their families, it’s the same old story — another year of no improvement. It's clear that this problem is not going to fix itself — we need strategies to address it.”
In 1980, women earned just over 60 cents for every dollar men made. Over the next decade, women’s wages shot up, reaching 71.6 cents on the male dollar by 1990. Education gains, as well as sex-discrimination laws, helped facilitate the increase. Since then, progress has slowed dramatically, grinding down to stagnant.
Francine Blau, an economics professor at Cornell University, explained to the Wall Street Journal, “The really golden period was the 1980s, when the wage gap was consistently narrowing. Since then, progress has continued, but it has been more fitful and uneven.”
In fairness, the report does not include benefits, and the wage gap may reflect the fact that women are not pursuing degrees in high-paying fields at the same rate as men. Some women may also be less likely to negotiate for a better salary.
However, as Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute said, “There’s no doubt that some level of residual discrimination exists out there.”