The gender pay gap in the United States workforce has remained relatively stable over the past few decades despite women having more access to advanced education and higher-pay jobs than in the past. Inequities in earnings have lifetime impacts on women's mental and physical health. This brief explores pay inequities in 2020 by race/ethnicity, gender, and educational attainment. The authors find that Black and White women would need at least one additional education degree to earn as much as less educated men, and Latinx women would need two additional degrees to earn as much as less educated Latinx men. The authors call for policies to expand access to affordable childcare, and require employers to provide paid family leave to promote equal pay for men and women.

Document Type

Research Brief


Gender Pay Gaps, Racial/Ethnic Disparities, Education


Family, Life Course, and Society | Inequality and Stratification | Race and Ethnicity | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology | Work, Economy and Organizations






The authors thank Shannon Monnat, Alexandra Punch, and Lauren Mussig for edits and feedback on a previous version of this brief.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.