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The gender pay gap has been a critical issue for decades, with women earning significantly less than men for the same work. However, the gender pay gap is even more pronounced for single women. The Women’s Journal’s Founder and Digital Editorial Director Jennifer Read-Dominguez explores why the gender pay gap is worse for single women, why women who are single face greater challenges in the workplace and what can be done to address this issue.

The gender pay gap has been a thorny women’s issue that has persisted in many societies across the world for decades. The gender pay gap refers to the disparity in earnings between men and women, which is usually caused by discrimination, unconscious bias, and other social and cultural factors. The gender pay gap affects women of all ages and backgrounds, but single women are particularly vulnerable. In this article, we will explore the issue of the gender pay gap, with a focus on single women, and offer practical tips and advice that can help them improve their earnings potential.

Understanding the Gender Pay Gap

The gender pay gap is a complex issue that is caused by many factors. Some of the common factors that contribute to the gender pay gap include:


Women are often paid less than men for doing the same job, simply because of their gender.

Occupational segregation

Women tend to work in low-paying fields that are traditionally dominated by women, while men tend to work in higher-paying fields that are dominated by men.

Lack of flexible work arrangements

Women are more likely than men to take on caregiving responsibilities, which can make it difficult for them to work full-time jobs.

Negotiation skills

Women are often socialised to be less assertive and negotiate less aggressively than men, which can lead to lower pay.

The Gender Pay Gap and Single Women

While the number of never-married single women in business continues to grow, their wage gap has also widened.

Single women are particularly vulnerable to the gender pay gap. According to research, single women earn significantly less than married women and men. Single women also face unique challenges in the workplace, such as:

Lack of support

Single women may not have the same level of support and resources as married women, which can make it difficult for them to advance in their careers.

Higher expenses

Single women may have higher expenses than married women, as they do not have a partner to share expenses with.

Lack of access to benefits

Single women may not have access to the same level of benefits, such as health insurance and retirement plans, as married women.

Why the Gender Pay Gap is Worse for Single Women

Limited Opportunities

Single women often have limited opportunities for career advancement compared to their married counterparts. This is due to a lack of social connections, support systems, and discrimination in the workplace. As a result, they may be stuck in low-paying jobs or unable to negotiate for better pay.

Childcare Costs

Single mothers face an even greater challenge in the workplace due to the high cost of childcare. With no partner to share the responsibility, single mothers have to take time off work or pay for expensive childcare, which can reduce their earning potential and limit their career opportunities.

Lack of Benefits

Many employers offer benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off to their employees. However, single women may not have access to these benefits as they are often reserved for full-time employees. Without these benefits, single women may face financial hardship and struggle to make ends meet.

Solutions to Address the Gender Pay Gap for Single Women

Flexible Work Arrangements

Flexible work arrangements such as remote work, flexible hours, and job sharing can help single women balance their work and personal responsibilities. This can improve their productivity and increase their earning potential.

Affordable Childcare

Affordable childcare can help single mothers pursue their career goals and increase their earning potential. Governments and employers should invest in affordable childcare programs to support single mothers and reduce the burden of childcare costs.

Equal Pay and Benefits

Employers should ensure that all employees receive equal pay and benefits regardless of their marital status or gender. This can help eliminate the gender pay gap and create a fair and inclusive workplace.

Practical Tips for Single Women to Improve Their Earnings Potential

Despite the challenges that single women face, there are many things that they can do to improve their earnings potential. Some practical tips include:

Negotiate your salary

Single women should negotiate their salaries just like anyone else. It’s important to do your research and know your worth, and to be confident and assertive during negotiations.

Invest in your skills

Single women should invest in their skills and education to make themselves more marketable and increase their earning potential.

Seek out mentors and allies

Single women should seek out mentors and allies who can offer support and guidance in their careers.

Advocate for yourself

Single women should advocate for themselves and make their needs and goals known to their employers. It’s important to be proactive and speak up for yourself.

The gender pay gap is a complex issue that affects women of all ages and backgrounds, but single women are particularly vulnerable. The gender pay gap is a critical issue for single women, who face greater challenges in the workplace due to limited opportunities, childcare costs, and lack of benefits. To address this issue, we need to implement solutions such as flexible work arrangements, affordable childcare, and equal pay and benefits. By working together, we can create a fair and inclusive workplace where all employees can thrive.


  • Jennifer Read-Dominguez

    Jennifer Read-Dominguez is founder of The Women's Journal and a digital editorial director with over ten years experience in the media and publishing industry. Jennifer has led the digital transformation strategies for many market-leading lifestyle magazines putting SEO and e-commerce at the forefront. She is also founder of Jeneration Public Relations - a UK digital-first public relations and communications consultancy that provides strategic coverage for clients.

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