Coin stacks with blue and pink tokens Women’s wages in legal occupations peak at just 35, making only median earnings of $75,000—$93,800 less than men’s peak income. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Bad enough that women make less than men, spend less time in the workplace and are often stuck in part-time or temporary jobs because of childrearing responsibilities or caring for an elderly relative. Now there’s news about yet another factor that contributes to the gender pay gap: peak pay.

According to research from PayScale, women’s earnings hit their peak literally years before men’s do—meaning that over their careers, women’s rise in earnings power just … stops. According to the report, women’s earnings peak on average at $66,700 at age 44. For men, earnings peak at $101,200—at age 55. That’s an 11 year difference in which men continue to build earning power and women… don’t.

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.

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