Pay gaps can be calculated for each state using data from the American Community Survey, which is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and distributed to approximately 3 million U.S. households annually.
In the graphic below, you can see that states shaded dark-blue have a comparably low wage gap (minimum: $0.11 per dollar). Conversely, states shaded light-blue or white have a comparably high wage gap.
If earnings of full-time workers continue to advance at the same rate as they did from 1959 to 2017, the wage gap between men and women in will not close until 2059.
Here’s a look at the projected year that the wage gap will close in each U.S. state. States shaded in dark-green are not projected to close the gap until next century, with some states not projected to close the gap until 2153.
Source: Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 2017. “Projected Year the Wage Gap Will Close by State.”
Understanding Adjusted vs. Unadjusted Pay Gaps
While the unadjusted gender pay gap compares pay levels holistically, the adjusted gender pay gap accounts for other factors. These factors include variables such as hours worked, occupations chosen, education, job experience, and geography. Accounting for these variables can more accurately quantify workplace pay discrimination against women.
This role-to-role gap compares wages for employees who perform similar work. Thus, many compensation professionals believe this approach more effectively assesses whether your organization offers equal pay for women. After adjusting for occupational, organizational, and human capital factors that can cause pay differences, Gartner estimates that the remaining 7.4% adjusted gender pay gap is directly within the Total Rewards function’s control.
The Competitive Advantages of Addressing Pay Equity
Understanding different gender pay gap types, reviewing wage gap statistics, and assessing existing gender pay gaps is crucial toward companies achieving women’s equality. And, closing the gender pay gap typically requires a formal process to address pay equity. While this can be an immense amount of work for HR professionals, the rewards will go beyond gender equality in pay.
According to The Power of Pay Equity, a report by Aptitude Research Partners, having formal processes that address pay equity can help organizations recruit top talent. In their survey, organizations with a formal pay equity process were 26% more likely to improve quality-of-hire, and 43% more likely to see their Glassdoor ratings go up. Together, this demonstrates that mindfulness around ensuring pay equity bleeds into the public perception of the employer’s brand is a powerful attracting force for candidates.
Focusing on pay equity is indicative of a culture that embraces diversity of all sorts and values skill, competency, and performance. Plus, taking an active role helps ensure that varied perspectives receive equal credence. Data shows that organizations with a pay equity strategy are more likely to reach out to candidates affected by pay inequities. It's a win-win.