In 2015, US women under 40 earned 81 cents on the dollar compared to men. By 2017, that number had gone ... down: Last year, it was just 79 cents on the dollar for that demographic, according to a new report from HR analytics and software company Visier, released Tuesday for Equal Pay Day. Even though more attention is being paid to the gender pay gap, "large US employers are not making collective progress towards closing the gender pay gap," Visier says in a press release. The company analyzed anonymized data encompassing more than 1.5 million US workers and 60 companies over the last three years for its study, the Guardian reports. For women over age 40, things got better between 2015 and 2017, but only slightly: They went from making 72 cents on the dollar compared to men to 73 cents.
The report also found women were outperforming their male colleagues during that time frame: They were 12% more likely to be rated as a top performer in performance ratings in 2015, and 21% more likely in 2017. So why are they making less? Visier suggests a lower number of women in management is partially to blame; last year, just 12% of women held management positions compared to 18% of men, and managers earn, on average, double what non-managers earn. Visier's VP of marketing tells Forbes the real wage gap opens up around ages 32 to 40, when women are more likely to have young kids at home: "Women tend to take on more of the childcare responsibilities and that impacts their earning potential," she says. "They are either not seen as managers or they might opt out of being considered for a promotion given their other responsibilities." (Read more gender wage gap stories.)