The Ever Present Income Gap Between Men and Women

Meredith Strickland


Hollywood. The dream of all actors and actresses since The Count of Monte Cristo appeared on screen in 1908. Hollywood has created household names from Marilyn Monroe to Leonardo DiCaprio. While Hollywood stars are often seen as gods, one thing keeps actresses tethered to the real world is the wage gap. In an article from The University of Wisconsin, they found the Hollywood gender pay gap is around 1-2.4 million dollar gap per film between men and women.  (1) Seeing how popular actresses are it becomes surprising when you see even more numbers relating to their overall income compared to their male counterparts. For example this graph featured above: 

Here it shows that the difference between the leading woman and the leading man is at least $34.5 million dollars. The average for top-male actors is $57.4 Million, the average for top-female actors is $21.8 million. (3) The top female-actors earn 38% of what the top-male actors generate. (3

While women in Hollywood still make more than enough to live in luxury, the issue of wage inequality impacts those women making $7.25 an hour. Currently the median salary for women is $25,307 while the median for men is $38,461 according to the US Census Bureau. According to NerdWallet, the average household expenses for a single person is $3,189 per month (4). If that number is the median, then that would mean that in order to make enough money to supply necessities, that individual would need to make $38,266 per year. To simplify the numbers, men have a surplus of $195 per year or $16 per month while women are in a deficit of $12,959 per year or $1,080 per month as a result of the wage gap. 

While Hollywood actresses will never need to be worried about how they are going to pay their bills or where their next meal will come from, that is the reality for many women because of the wage gap. 

Leave a Reply