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Women Can’t Win: Despite Making Educational Gains and Pursuing High-Wage Majors, Women Still Earn Less than Men

Though women’s leaps in educational progress have narrowed the gender wage gap, their earnings still trail those of men. Women’s path to equal pay remains inhibited by discrimination and their concentration in low-paying majors and occupations.

Key Findings

  • Women outnumber men at all levels of postsecondary education.
  • Women need more than a high school diploma, and ideally at least a bachelor’s degree to make family-sustaining wages.
  • Other developed countries like Norway and France have smaller gender wage gaps and laws that are more supportive of women who have children or are taking care of elderly relatives.
  • The wage gap grows with graduate school, in part, because women are concentrated in lower-paying master’s degrees in fields such as education and counseling.


Date of publication: 2018


Publisher: Anthony P. Carnevale, Nicole Smith & Artem Gulish

Organization: The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce

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