Gender Pay Gap Remains at 20 Cents

September 12, 2017


At the current rate of change, the gender pay gap won't close until 2119.


Media Contacts:
Amy Becker,

Women in U.S. now have to wait till 2119 for equal pay

WASHINGTON—An American Association of University Women (AAUW) analysis of newly released U.S. Census Bureau data indicates that women working full time on average still make 80 cents compared to every dollar men make. At the current rate of progress in closing the gap, women will not receive pay equity until the year 2119. Prior AAUW analysis found that even when accounting for education, occupation, hours worked, and other factors, women still earned seven percent less than men. Gender discrimination is a significant cause of the pay gap.

“The minimal change to the average pay gap doesn’t surprise me at all. While there has been recent progress, in fits and spurts, in states across the country, our landscape has been the status quo,” said AAUW Chief Executive Officer Kimberly Churches. “Women and families can’t afford to face another day of the financial insecurity caused by unequal pay. That’s why AAUW is taking the fight for fair pay to every level of government, employers, and employees and backing it up with our in-depth research and practical solutions for closing the gap once and for all.”

AAUW will be compiling a pay gap analysis in its forthcoming research report, The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap, which will demonstrate how much the pay gap impacts women, families, businesses, and the nation’s economy. Families increasingly rely on women’s wages to make ends meet. A majority of mothers are in the paid labor force, and a growing number of them (42 percent) are responsible for supporting their families. Due to the pay gap and lower wages women who complete college degrees are less able to pay off their student loans promptly, leaving them paying more and for a longer time than men. All of these setbacks compound over a lifetime and can lead to families’ financial insecurity. The pay gap is a multipronged problem but there are also solutions to address it.

“It’s easy to look at these numbers and instantly become depressed,” noted Churches. “But AAUW will continue the drumbeat of equal pay even if Congress and the Trump administration take steps backward on this issue. We’re logging  win after win in states by challenging and collaborating with policy makers to take steps toward strong equal pay legislation. Additionally, we are empowering women to expertly negotiate their salary through our salary negotiation workshops along with working with private and public sector employers on how to ensure women are better represented in positions of leadership. At the end of the day diversity is not only the right thing to do, it’s good for a company’s bottom line and our economy as a whole.  Without action to close the gender and racial pay gap unequal pay will be a stark reality for women and families for the indeterminate future and that’s a scenario we refuse to accept.”


The American Association of University Women (AAUW) empowers women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Our nonpartisan, nonprofit organization has more than 170,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 local branches and 800 college and university partners. Since AAUW’s founding in 1881, our members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political. Learn more and join us at

By:   |   September 12, 2017