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November 09, 2021

Women still underpaid, but earning more by the years: study

For decades the old adage has been true: women, while progressing well in the workplace, still earn far less than their male counterparts.

It’s not something we relish in reporting. In fact, in opening the discussion last summer as to why there are discrepancies between how men and women are paid, most ladies seemed to be quite fed up with the issue.

There is this, though. While women – despite their profession, education level or time served – still earn a fraction of men in many cases, things are shifting. And now we have the data to prove it.

By numbers in a new study, for example, gone are the years when nearly all husbands earned more than their wives.

According to Pew Research, 22 per cent of 30- to 44-year-old wives now earn an annual income higher than that of their husbands – a marked improvement from 1970, when that figure stood at a measly four per cent.

More to that, unmarried women, a demographic much higher in numbers now than years past, have seen their median income raise some 60 per cent since 1970.

These are just two modest statistics, sure, but humble growth or not, they do signal at least a small transition where women’s salaries are concerned.

Have to think these figures will continue to surge in the coming years, too. It’s long been said that women routinely achieve a higher level of education than men, and the Pew Research numbers back that up: in 1970, 28 per cent of husbands had more education than their wives, while in 2007 that figure had flipped – 28 per cent of wives now have more education than their husbands.

So, ladies, maybe it ain’t all right out in the working world. The guard is changing, though, slow as it may seem.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...