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American Women Work 59 Days for Free


The disparity in pay between female employees and their male counterparts gives employers a 22.6% discount on labor.

What's it going to take for women to earn the same paycheck as men for the same job? About 60 extra days in a woman's year, apparently.

The Huffington Post and the Institute for Women's Policy Research did some analysis and determined that women would have to work another 11 work weeks and four days a year to be paid the same amount as their male colleagues. Since women make only 77.4% of what their male counterparts bring home from the same job, they'd have to put in 22.6% more hours to earn equal pay.

Lawmakers haven't been especially proud of that disparity and approved the Lilly Ledbetter Act against pay discrimination back in 2009. They're currently pushing the Paycheck Fairness Act that would make it illegal for employers to fire workers for discussing compensation.

Still, a 2011 study from the Institute for Women's Policy research found that women, on average, make 82% of what their male counterparts make, while nearly half are either not allowed or are strongly discouraged by their employers from discussing pay information with co-workers.

According to the Democratic Policy and Communications Center, women make $434,000 less than men on average over the course of their careers. That starts right after college. Congress' joint economic committee says women make $7,600 less than men immediately following graduation. And it continues to the latter stages of their career, when Catalyst says women make up just 6.2% of top earners.

But that's OK, right? All that new legislation is going to make everything nice and equal, no? Kind of.

The gender pay gap is going to close, but the Institute for Women's Policy Research says it won't happen until 2056 at this rate. When today's workers' granddaughters finally achieve pay equity with their male coworkers, it will be because grandma worked an extra 2,537 days for free to make it happen.

Editor's Note: This story by Jason Notte was originally published on MSN moneyNOW.

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