That women generally earn less than men is a well known fact.
Many people attribute the income difference to the fact that women are more likely to leave the job field to become caretakers, either for their children or their parents. In fact, Time reported that “over a period of 15 years, according to a 2004 study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), a full 52% of women in their prime earning age range of 26 to 59 go through at least one full calendar year earning nothing at all, compared with just 16% of men.”
Of course, that absence in the work place can account for some difference in pay, especially when women stay out of the workforce for several years while their children are young.
However, women leaving the work field to care for others is only part of the story.