Knowledge Center

Women's Earnings and Income

Data and sources for Australia, Canada, the United States, and various countries around the world.


The full-time average weekly earnings for women is $1,325.10 compared to the full-time average earnings for men of $1,602.80.1

The Workplace Gender Equality Act requires organizations to report whether a gender pay gap analysis has been performed.2

  • In 2014-15, 26.3% of Australian companies performed a gender pay gap analysis.3

  • Over half (50.7%) of those that that performed the analysis then went on to take actions to address the gap.4


In Canada Women Earned Almost $0.82 to every $1 Earned by Men5

Improvement in the wage gap has been minor since 1977 (77.2% to 82.4% for full-time workers).6

  • But based on average weekly wages, of all workers in 2015 (including full- and part-time), women earned just 75.6% compared to men.7

  • In 2008, 18% of wives in dual-income families were their families' primary breadwinners (when measured in hourly earnings), bringing in more than 55% of the household income, up from 14% in 1997.8

United States

No Matter Race/Ethnicity, Age, Occupation, or Education—All Women Are Impacted by The Gender Wage Gap9 

The gender pay gap is defined as the difference between the median earnings of women and men. This can be either the earnings ratio or the actual pay gap.10

  • Women earned on average $0.79 to every $1 earned by men in 2014 (79%) for annual earnings.11
  • In 2015 women earned 81.1% of men's salaries based on median weekly earnings for full-time workers12 compared to 62.1% in 1979.13
    • Women's median weekly earnings for full-time work (2015) = $726 compared to $895 for men.14
    • Women's median annual earnings for full-time work (2014) = $39,621 compared to $50,383 for men.15

The gap doesn't close the higher women go. In 2015, the median weekly earnings for women in full-time management, professional, and related occupations was $996 compared to $1,383 for men.16

Women Have Come a Long Way But Are Still Not at Parity17 

Women will need to work more than 70 additional days each year to catch up to men.18

Women's increased education and workforce participation have narrowed the wage gap.19

  • The "unexplained" wage gap = One year out of college, women earned 82% of what their male counterparts earned. After controlling for hours, occupation, college major, industry, and other factors, the pay gap shrinks to 6.6%.20
The Gender Wage Gap Increases With Age
  • The earnings difference between women and men varies with age. Younger women  (20-24 years old ) are closer to pay equity and earn 92.3% of men's earnings compared to  older women (55 to 64 years old) who earn just 76.4% of men's for full-time wage and salary.21
  • Women were paid about 90% of what men earn until age 35, at which point median earnings for women start to slow down, further widening the pay gap.22 

The average full-time working woman will lose more than $460,000 over a 40 year period in wages due only to the wage gap. To catch up, she will need to work 12 additional years. 23

White and Asian Men Outearn Women of Every Race/Ethnicity24
  • African American earn 90.4% of African American men's earnings.25
  • Latina women earn 89.7% of Latino men's earnings.26
  • Asian women earn 77.7% of Asian men's earnings.27


The Gender Wage Gap Varies by Industry

The biggest wage gap in the United States is in the financial activities industry. Women account for more than half of all employees, yet earn nearly $0.69 for every $1 men make. 28

Traditionally male-dominated industries pay more than traditionally female-dominated industries.29

  • The industry closest to parity is construction. Women earn about $0.97 cents for every $1 men earn.30

The Gender Wage Gap Impacts Families

Close to half of all women were sole or primary breadwinners, earning at least half of the family income in 2012. 31

Married men have the highest earnings.32

  • The median weekly earnings of married men working full-time is greater than any other group.33
    • Married men full-time median weekly earnings=$1,001.34
    • Married working women full-time median weekly earnings=$787.35
    • Never married men full-time median weekly earnings=$648 compared to the full-time median income of never married women = $607. 36
  •  Among dual-earner couples, 71.8% of husbands outearned their wives.37
Increased Education Leads to Higher Salaries38

Today women are earning more college degrees than ever,39 But men still earn more than women at every education level.40


The Global Gender Gap Will Not Close Until 209541

Korea has the highest gender wage gap at 37% followed by Estonia and Japan, both at 27%.42

Gender Wage Gap, Select OECD Countries43

Country % Gender Wage Gap
Australia (2013) 18.0%
Germany (2013) 13.4%
Japan (2013) 26.6%
Mexico (2014) 18.3%
United Kingdom (2014) 17.4%


Additional Resources


How to cite this product: Catalyst. Catalyst Quick Take: Women's Earnings and Income. New York: Catalyst, 2016.