Stories

The gender wealth gap

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The gender wage gap has noticeably improved over the decades, but the gender wealth gap — including savings, equity and long-term earnings — still has a long way to go.

Why it matters: Achieving economic parity isn't just about equal pay for equal work — it's also about all the societal circumstances that handicap women.

The long-term wage gap: Women tend to have more gaps in their employment, such as time off to raise children and part-time work while caring for a family member.

  • Last year, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research published a study showing women earned only 49 cents on every dollar compared to men over a 15-year increment.
  • 28% of women and 59% of men in the 2001–2015 period worked at least 12 of those 15 years full time. 57% of women and 77% of men in that period worked full time every year (no years off).
  • For women (and men) who took just one year off from working during that period, their earnings were 39% lower.
  • Even women who didn't take time away during the 2001–2015 period still only earned 67 cents for every man's dollar.

The savings gap: Only 56% of 18- to 34-year-old women have savings, compared to 70% of men.

The startup equity gap: Women own just 9% of all equity, despite making up 33% of founders and employees.

  • Women own just 6% of all founder equity despite representing 13% of all startup founders, according to Carta and #Angels. This translates to 39 cents in equity for every dollar that a male founder owns.
  • Women own just 20% of employee equity despite being 35% of all employees who hold equity. That's 47 cents for every dollar of male employees' equity.

The racial pay gap among women: Among U.S. women who hold full-time, year-round jobs, black women are typically paid 61 cents, Native American women 58 cents and Latinas 53 cents. White women earn 77 cents, and Asian American women 85 cents, for every dollar paid to white men, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Go deeper: This gender pay gap chart is worthy of your time