Women need a PhD to earn as much as men with a BA

Well these are some pretty stark stats. Kay Steiger points out these findings from the latest report by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, “The College Payoff: Education, Opportunity, Lifetime Earnings:

Chart showing male and female earnings by educational attainment

Click image to enlarge.

Just look at the red text to see what an extreme gap we’re talking about:

Women have to have a PhD to make as much as men with a BA


Men with some college but no degree earn about the same as women with a Bachelor’s degree

We know there’s still a wage gap, with women as a whole earning 77 cents for every dollar men earn, and women of color earning even less. What this chart points out is how much time and money women have to invest in education to up their earnings. And they still get less out of the deal than men – the wage gap persists no matter the degree.

This data is a good rebuttal to the occasional media angst over the notion that women are outperforming men in school. Though the accuracy of that claim is questionable anyway, this new report makes one thing clear: women need to climb higher up the ladder of degrees if they want earnings that are competitive with men.

The report also rebuts the tired argument that the wage gap is all because women work less, since they’ve got those frivolous distractions of having babies and raising kids:

Women earn less at all degree levels, even when they work as much as men. On average, women who work full-time, full-year earn 25 percent less than men, even at similar education levels.

The report also covers the racial wage gap, another stark example of inequality persisting regardless of educational level:

Chart showing earnings by race and educational attainment

Click image to enlarge.

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Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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