For most modern families, a sense of gender equality is an important part of everyday life at home. Domestic chores get tag-teamed, and childcare duties are more balanced than ever before, with much of the remaining “gender gap” coming down to kids playing favorites (i.e. asking for Daddy instead of Mommy, obviously). But when it comes to the workplace, things still seem really last century.
According to statistics released by the Labor Department this week, male earnings have increased by at least twice the rate of women’s for the third quarter in a row. As recently as last year, the pay gap seemed to be closing. The rate of increase for women’s pay beat out men’s 4 times between Q2 2013 and Q2 2014. At the end of that period, women were making 83.5 percent of what their male equivalents did — “the narrowest pay gap on record back to 1979, according to that measure,” reports the Wall Street Journal. But as of this latest report, that percentage has slipped back to 81.1 cents for every man’s dollar. Of course, since male salaries grew especially slowly between 2013 and 2014, these recent changes might just be a temporary “correction” of sorts, despite the fact that income inequality is about as correct as telling your coworker she “smelled nice” after she presents a quarterly report on how much her team is crushing everyone else in your office.