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Women still only earn 79% of what men are paid as wage gap persists

Key Points
  • The ADP Research Institute analyzes payroll data from 13 million employees from 30,000 firms across eight sectors in the United States.
  • The study finds the pay difference between men and women persists across all levels of management and the higher up the corporate ladder, the less female representation there is.
  • Women earn $25 an hour on average, 79% of what their male counterparts make, which is $32 an hour.
  • On the highest management level in the ADP study, women earn $48 less than their male counterpart and 85% of those managers are male.

The gender pay gap is still alive, according to data Tuesday showing that women are still lagging when it comes to pay equality.

Women earn $25 an hour on average, 79% of the $32 an hour their male counterparts make, according to a new study from the ADP Research Institute which analyzed payroll data from 13 million employees at 30,000 firms across eight sectors in the U.S.

The pay difference between men and women persists across all levels of management and the higher up the corporate ladder, the less female representation there is, ADP found.

At a nonmanagement level, women make $5 per hour less than men on average and the gender representation is about equal. Moving up to the highest level in the ADP study, women earn $48 an hour less than their male counterparts, and 85% of those managers are male.

"Gender differences across hierarchy levels show that the proportion of women in senior level positions is significantly lower than that of men," Ahu Yildirmaz, co-head of the ADP Research Institute, said in a report. "The fourth management level, however, appears to define the 'glass ceiling' — a steep decline in female representation even from the third level."

The disparity at the top management tiers is "problematic" because those managers have "an outsized influence" on corporate culture and policy, Yildirmaz said, adding that there's no quick fix.

"Considering that these leadership positions typically require candidates with substantial job tenure and mentoring, short-term fixes will be challenging," Yildirmaz said.

While faced with the glass ceiling, women tend to get promoted earlier than men in their careers, according to ADP. On average, it takes women 6.6 years to get their first manager promotion, and it takes 7.3 years for men, the study shows.