How much in lifetime earnings does it cost you to be a woman?
That’s a question posed by the National Women’s Law Center, and its analysis was eye-opening. On average, in America, a woman who is starting her career now will earn $430,480 less than a male counterpart over the course of a 40-year career. If you happen to be an African-American or Native American woman, your earnings will be more than $870,000 less, and Latina women will miss out on more than $1 million in lifetime wages.
Some states have greater disparities than others—including North Dakota, Wyoming, Louisiana, West Virginia, Utah, Michigan and Nevada—but all states (see accompanying map) report gaps. In the most equal state—Florida—women earn “just” $248,120 less than their male counterparts over a 40-year career.
So if you want to enjoy a prosperous work life in America, the formula is simple: make sure you’re born male, and be especially careful about being born into one of the minority populations.