Naive millennials thought that the pay gap was only for mid-level executives, but new research shows that even the youngest generation of women are more financially vulnerable in the workplace. Despite an earlier Pew report that showed women gaining parity with men, new research from Wells Fargo shows that college-educated millennial men made $20,000 more per year than women with the same education level. The median annual income for millennial men was $83,000, while women made only $63,000.
The Wells Fargo data didn't mention anything about a breakdown by occupation, but other research from the Institute for Women's Policy Research shows that even in occupations that are dominated by women, men still tend to earn more. But the most recent findings also contradict the notion that the pay gap can be attributed to women slowing down at work because they're on the mommy track-- this data shows that women are making less than men far before they start to think about having families. This goes with other research that finds that the pay gap starts with the first job a student gets out of college which can put them behind for their whole career.
Some attribute the wage gap to women's failure to negotiate, but recent studies have shown that no matter how a woman negotiates her salary, it can often have negative consequences. As Maria Konnikova wrote recently in the New Yorker:
The effect held whether they saw the negotiation on video or read about it on paper, whether they viewed it from a disinterested third-party perspective or imagined themselves as senior managers in a corporation evaluating an internal candidate. Even women penalized the women who initiated the conversation, though they also penalized the men who did so. They just didn’t seem to like seeing someone ask for more money.
There's also a disparity between men and women when it comes to savings. Of the 55% of millennials who say they're saving for retirement, 61% are men and only 50% are women. And 58% of men feel "satisfied" with their savings, while only 41% of women do. And millennial women are far less confident about their financial futures, since only 62% say they'll be able to afford the lifestyle they want in the future. 80% of men say they're confident they'll be able to live the life they want.
Millennial women get the shorter end of the stick when it comes to debt too. 45% of millennial women said they felt "overwhelmed" by their debt, while only 33% of men felt that way. One in five millennial women is "worried" about making ends meet, while only one in ten men is.
Moral of the story: millennial dudes are not only making more and saving more, they're utterly confident about it.