Family and the Gender Wage Gap


Does having a family mean an even bigger pay gap between men and women?

Women in the U.S. earn a median 78 cents on the dollar compared to men for full-time work. However, there are lots of ways to disaggregate that data, and see how individual groups are faring — or struggling — when it comes to salary equity.

According to the recent “Inside the Gender Pay Gap” report by PayScale, women have a greater pay gap the more they prioritize family compared to men who prioritize family just as often.

“The largest pay gap exists between married mothers and married fathers who indicate that they prioritize family over work obligations at least once a year. However, we see no pay gap at all between single men and women without children who say they never prioritize home and family over work,” says Katie Bardaro, VP of Data Analytics and Lead Economist at PayScale.

The report yielded additional significant results:

  • Gender pay gap is higher between married men with children and married women with children than any other demographic.
  • Salaries grow for men until they reach the ages 50 – 55, with a median salary of $75,000; while salaries for women plateau much earlier, at the ages of 35 – 40, with a median salary of $49,000.
  • Both men and women recommended for leadership training earn more money than men and women who have not, but men see a greater pay increase than women.
  • The gender pay gap at the non-executive level in the tech industry is lower than other industries, however the exec level is slightly larger than in non-tech industries.
  • Higher education doesn’t solve the gender pay gap. PhD holders have the highest controlled pay gap (5.1 percent), followed by MBA holders (4.7 percent), and MDs (4.6 percent).


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