By Jillian Kramer. Photos: Stocksy.
The gender pay gap has plagued women for so long that it can sometimes seem as if it will never close. But according to a recent study, the pay gap could close sooner than we might ever have imagined: 2020's female college graduates could earn as much as their male peers by the time they retire.
The good news from Accenture's research comes with a couple caveats, however: To close the gap, these college grads will have to live in developed nations. They'll also have to hone their skills in three key areas to compete with men's salaries, the research shows.
What are those skills? First, 2020's college grads will need to be digitally fluent, which Accenture defines as "the extent to which peopleembrace and use digital technologies to become more knowledgeable, connected and effective." About 72 percent of women are considered digitally fluent today, compared to 76 percent of men, the research shows.
Next, women will have to embrace tech immersion—acquiring more tech savvy and digital know-how. According to the research, just 45 percent of women are quick to adopt new technology, and only 68 percent of women take coding or computing courses to grow their skills. That's compared to 68 percent and 83 percent of men, respectively.
Lastly, these college grads will have to focus on their career strategy, or what Accenture defines as aiming high and pursuing fields with higher earning potential. The research shows that just 27 percent of women choose careers with this kind of high earning potential—and just 41 percent aspire to senior leadership roles.
But if the women graduating in just three years hit these three goals, Accenture says, they could close the pay gap by 2044. That's not exactly soon enough, but that's better than other estimates, which say it could take until 2069.
This story originally appeared on Glamour.
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