The Institute for Women’s Policy Research states that women in 2015 now make 80 cents for every dollar that men do1. As disheartening as that is, this is an improvement from 1981 where women made 60 cents for every dollar that men do2. However another facet of pay inequity between the genders comes at the top 0.01%, the billionaires, and these differences show fewer signs of improvement.

United States Billionaires

Data from https://piie.com/publications/working-papers/origins-superrich-billionaire-characteristics-database

In the bubble graph above, it’s apparent that men represent an oversized proportion of billionaires in every industry. Some industries, like Hedge funds, are completely dominated by men, with no women breaching the billionaire status. The most evenly distributed industries, Retail, Non-consumer Industrial, hover around a 70/30 split between men and women.

Women constitute 13.1% of all US billionaires

The total wealth of the male billionaires to female billionaires is about even. Women constitute 13.1% of all US billionaires, and their total proportion of wealth is 13.5%.

One interesting indicator in this is where the money is coming from. 90% of female billionaires inherit their wealth, either from their father or from being a spouse/widow. This in contrast to male billionaires where only 20% have inherited their wealth.

In fact of the 276.3 billion dollars that are in the hands of female, only 15% of that money has been self-made, the rest is attributed to inheritance.

Since this kind of wealth is proxy for many types of power within in the United States, it will be encouraging to see a more equitable distribution of the wealth at the top percentages of society.


  1. http://www.iwpr.org/initiatives/pay-equity-and-discrimination

  2. https://www.pay-equity.org/info-time.html

A short tale of rent prices in America

Published on September 15, 2017