As of today, women begin working for free. That’s according to an analysis released Thursday by The Washington Post on the wage gap in the United States.
According to the analysis, the median salary for women is roughly 80 percent of a man’s, or 10 weeks a year that a woman works for free.
However, it is acknowledged that the median salary of women varies based on occupation, working hours, education, experience, location and race. Thus, some women will have already technically started working for free while other women are closer to closing the wage gap.
For example, women who are real estate agents began to get affected by the wage gap on September 16 while pharmacists wouldn’t be affected until December 13.
The study also discusses common claims regarding the wage gap, such as that women tend to choose lower-paying jobs. According to the analysis, that’s somewhat true with studies finding that occupational sorting, or sorting professions into “female” and “male” jobs, accounts for about a half to about a third of the pay gap.
The Washington Post analysis also references another study that found that “some jobs became lower-paying for everyone when women started doing them.”
It goes on to discuss other claims meant to dispute the wage gap, such as that women tend to work part-time, contributing to the disparities.
See the full analysis here.