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Do you earn the same salary as your male coworkers? How certain are you? For women, the wage gap is a common concern, for good reason: the average, college-educated woman starts out earning close to what her male peers do, but over a lifetime, the pay gap widens. Even for women who graduate from college, get an MBA, and take a job at a high-paying firm — 10 or 15 years into our careers, we’re earning only 60 percent of what men are.

There are a lot of complex factors that go into creating the wage gap — race, education, industry. Amy, Sarah, and Nicole dive into one that doesn’t get as much attention: age. What’s going on in our careers that causes us to earn so much less as we get older? Guests: Claudia Goldin, a Harvard economist, and Margaret Gullette, an age critic and author.

Our HBR reading list:

The Average Mid-Forties Male College Graduate Earns 55% More Than His Female Counterparts by Erling Barth, Claudia Goldin, Sari Pekkala Kerr, and Claudia Olivetti

Ending the Wage Gap by Sudip Datta, Abhijit Guha, and Mai Iskandar-Datta

Women Dominate College Majors That Lead to Lower-Paying Work by Sarah Green Carmichael

Everyone Likes Flex Time, but We Punish Women Who Use It by David Burkus

How the Gender Pay Gap Widens as Women Get Promoted by Lydia Frank

The Maternal Wall by Joan C. Williams

Email us: womenatwork@hbr.org

Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network.

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