A Pew report released in December seemed to bring good news: The pay gap is narrowing, and millennial women are nearly at parity with millennial men. Pew calculated that the median hourly wage for women was 84 percent of that for men in 2012, compared with 64 percent in 1980. And female workers aged 25 to 34 in 2012 were making 93 percent as much as their male peers.
Yet in the past decade, the pay gap has hardly narrowed at all ; it actually widened between 2005 and 2008, and again between 2011 and 2012. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research estimates that, based on the current trajectory, it could take until 2056 — when today’s young workers are ready for retirement — to reach parity. Even that estimate may be optimistic.