Parenthood and Job Loyalty Are Hindering Pay Gap Progress — Payscale’s 2024 Gender Pay Gap Report Shows

  • Earnings of women without children keep pace with earnings of men without children – suggesting that parenthood is the primary and true cause of gender pay disparities.
  • The gender pay gap widens as women progress in their careers, starting at 87 cents when entering the workforce, then reaching 82 cents by ages 30-44 and 74 cents by age 45.
  • The pay gap is 10 cents wider for women who work remotely (79 cents) compared to women who work in-person (89 cents).

SEATTLE, Feb. 21, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Payscale Inc., the leading provider of compensation data, software and services, released its 2024 Gender Pay Gap Report (GPGR), revealing that the overall gender pay gap remains unchanged despite the strides made in pay transparency legislation this year – but there has been progress on narrowing the racial wage gap. Data shows that the controlled gender pay gap has closed in 2024 for American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian, Black, and Hispanic women.

Payscale’s analysis found that in 2024, the uncontrolled gender pay gap remains at 83 cents, meaning that women are employed in positions that earn 17% less than men. When the data is controlled, or “equal pay for equal work” is examined for job title and qualifications, women make 99 cents for every dollar that men earn. The controlled gender pay gap is the amount that women earn for every dollar that a man earns when accounting for job title and compensable factors, while the uncontrolled gender pay gap is the difference in median pay for men and women overall.

“Pay transparency laws present a unique and distinct advantage for those entering the job market, especially to those affected by pay gaps such as women. Candidates now have access to salaries on job postings before applying, which gives them an understanding about how to negotiate their compensation. The laws also empower women to seek higher paying roles, helping to end a long cycle of inequality,” said Lulu Seikaly, senior corporate employment attorney at Payscale. “We are still in the early days of pay transparency legislation, but as these laws roll out globally, we hope to start seeing a significant impact soon.”

Key takeaways from GPGR:

Female Racial Pay Gap — There has been continued progress on narrowing the racial wage gap.

  • The controlled gender pay gap has closed in 2024 for American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian, Black, and Hispanic women.
  • Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander and white women make 99 cents when compared to white men in similar jobs with compensable factors.
  • Previously, Black and Hispanic women have experienced the largest gender pay gaps when data is uncontrolled. However, since 2019, the gender pay gap has closed by 5 cents for Black (80 cents) and American Indian and Alaskan Native women (74 cents) and by 4 cents for Hispanic (79 cents) and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander women (80 cents).
  • In that time, the gender pay gap for white women closed 2 cents (83 cents) and 1 cent for Asian women (96 cents).

Higher Education and Climbing the Corporate Ladder — Advanced degrees and executive titles don’t alleviate the gender pay gap, in fact, pay disparities may grow the more women achieve.

  • Women with law degrees (88 cents), doctorates (84 cents) and MBAs (76 cents) still face pay discrimination compared to their male peers when data is uncontrolled.
  • The gender pay gap widens as women climb the corporate ladder. Women at the executive level make just 72 cents compared to male executives when data is uncontrolled.
  • Even female executives in a similar role with the same compensable factors still take home just 94 cents on the dollar.

Working Parents — Women are penalized for becoming parents; men are not.

  • Working mothers earn just 75 cents compared to working fathers; even with a similar job and qualifications, they take home 2 cents less.
  • Women and men who are not parents have a much narrower pay gap (88 cents) and if all factors are controlled, they reach pay parity – highlighting the relevance of the motherhood penalty.
  • Meanwhile, fathers tend to earn 15% more than men without children; if they have the same job and qualifications, the father still sees 2% more.

Job Seekers — Job hopping may benefit women making headway on equitable compensation.

  • Women who are willing to quit and seek new jobs more frequently have a better shot at narrowing the pay gap (84 cents). Whereas women who stay longer in their current positions may experience pay compression (80 cents) as they have not experienced the ability to negotiate their pay more fairly.
  • While the gender pay gap exists for women regardless of where they work, the gap is 10 cents wider for women who work remotely (79 cents) compared to women who work in-person (89 cents). In addition to remote work, the gender pay gap varies state-by-state, causing even larger gaps based on pay transparency laws.
  • Women should pursue jobs in the education, engineering and science, healthcare, and tech fields, as these industries have closed the controlled pay gap for women this year.

Location — Ten states and several municipalities have enacted pay transparency laws, but it’s clear that more states need to follow suit to put a dent in the gender pay gap.

  • California, Connecticut, Maryland, New York, and Washington implemented pay transparency laws prior to 2024 and have all successfully closed the controlled gender pay gap.
  • The District of Columbia and these states: Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oregon, and Vermont, have also closed the controlled gender pay gap in 2024.
  • Among the states with the worst controlled gender pay gaps are Wyoming (94 cents), Mississippi and Alabama (95 cents), and Louisiana, North Dakota, and Hawaii (96 cents).

“While the gender pay gap has not closed since introducing pay transparency legislation, the gap is narrowing and is starting to close for certain segments and locations,” said Ruth Thomas, pay equity strategist at Payscale. “Looking ahead, organizations need to remain focused on pay equity as a central pillar to compensation management, as well as diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) practices. Fair pay doesn't just happen. Employers need to proactively create equitable opportunities and measure equitable outcomes.”

Payscale’s compensation management software and services enable organizations to easily evaluate their current compensation strategies and standardize their internal pay practices to increase transparency and ensure fair pay.

The 2024 Gender Pay Gap Report analyzes crowdsourced data from over 627,000 people in the U.S. who took Payscale’s free online salary survey between January 2022 and January 2024. The full report and its methodology, including analysis by race, job level, age, education, industry, occupation, and location, can be accessed in its entirety at

About Payscale
As the industry leader in compensation management, Payscale is on a mission to help job seekers, employees, and businesses get pay right and to make sustainable fair pay a reality. Empowering more than 50% of the Fortune 500 in 198 countries, Payscale provides a combination of diverse and dynamic data sources, experienced compensation services, and scalable software to enable organizations such as Angel City Football Club, Target, Gainsight, and eBay to make fair and appropriate pay decisions.

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