Young Women Earning Higher Average Salary Than Men?? (Yes, You Read That Correctly)

Libby Kane

“So You’ll Pay Me More Than Him? Sounds Great.”

We never tire of hearing about women. Or money. Obviously, we go on red alert for any news about women and money, and here’s the latest: Young, single women are making more of it than their male peers!

Young Women Make Waves

Okay, okay, we know you’ve already heard that women are lagging in the job market due to an uptick in blue-collar industries, and that the wage gap is shrinking for younger women. But there’s more: The Wall Street Journal reports that a consumer-research firm released an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data last week showing that in some areas of the country (namely, Atlanta), young women are earning 121% of the salary of their male peers! In large cities, childless women between the ages of 22 and 30 have been making an average of 8% more than their male counterparts for a while, but now the trend is expanding into quickly-expanding metro areas and areas with large immigrant populations.

The Tide Hasn’t Turned Yet

Some of this has to do with the fact that women are more likely to get bachelor’s degrees. While only 25.8% of American men earned college degrees between 2006 and 2008, 32.7% of women did the same. And some of this has to do with young women operating without children—at this point, it’s common knowledge that women tend to be less valued as an employee after starting a family. Continuing on that sober note, it’s worth noting that when operating on the same level (same age, same industry, same education) women consistently earn less than their male peers.

It’s Rough, Swimming Upstream

It would be lovely to suggest a course of action to change this inequality. We could encourage women to get college degrees, and to continue being fantastic employees who advocate for themselves in the workplace. But much of this trend is beyond our control. We can’t encourage women to be young or to avoid having families—it’s ludicrous, and clearly illustrates the fact that women as a whole become only more undervalued when they grow and change. We’ll cringe at our desks and donate to The Girl Effect, and we’ll choose to take in every bit of good news… because what’s our other choice?

Tell us in the comments: What good news about women in the workplace gives you hope for the future?


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  • Jazmia

    Recent studies have shown that not only are women getting paid more and raising more venture capital than men but that the workplace in the future might be more suited to women! Even mainstream sites like Time have reported that female management styles and women’s emphasis on collaboration over competition are restructuring the workplace of the future.