Will it take a century for women and men to be paid the same? New study says yes

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

The gap in pay between women and men will close, but it will take more than a century for it to happen, at its current rate of improvement. That's what a new, worldwide study has concluded.

There are some critics of its methodology, but it's hardly disputed that some sort of gap, big or small, exists. That leads to questions of how it can be eliminated in less than the century that the new study, at least, predicts.

The study, the yearly World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report, showed some encouraging news about the overall status of women worldwide.  It showed that over the last decade, a quarter billion more women are in the work force, full access to education and health care has also increased.  However, those advances come with some surprising steps back.

"Where we haven't made progress," said Saadia Zahidi of the World Economic Forum, and one of the authors of the study, is with women "getting into leadership positions," and achieving financial parity, "where they are actually making the same as men," Zahidi said.

The report concludes that it will take a full 118 years for the difference in pay between men and women to be eliminated.

Most working women who spoke with PIX11 in a random sampling on the streets of New York expressed surprise at how long the study said it would take to achieve equity, but few disputed that inequities exist.

Angelina Hinson, who PIX11 encountered in Midtown, said she doesn't get paid the same as men.  "I don't get much hours," she said.

"It's unbelievable.  It's unheard of," said Jennifer Armstrong, co-owner of JAK Designs, a small business that makes and manufactures clothing from organic materials. She said that because she was aware of pay gaps worldwide, her company contributes one percent of its profits to organization's like the Women's Initiative for Self Employment, or WISE.

Still, she was surprised to learn that the gap could potentially take so long to bridge.

Hellen Nunez, however, an accountant PIX11 encountered outside Grand Central Terminal, was doubtful of the new information, and about pay inequity in general.

"At my job," said Nunez, everybody starts at the same salary.  It's up to you to make it go higher."