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Gender gaps in pay: Worst and best states

Women are paid less than men nationwide

By Rich_Maloof Dec 13, 2012 5:02PM

When it comes to pay equality between genders, America has come a long way but still has far to go.

Women’s annual earnings currently run at a national median of 77 percent of men’s earnings for full-time, year-round workers. That’s a nice bump up from the 60 percent gap of the early 1970s, when “women’s lib” was gaining steam, but progress has slowed in recent years. In fact, it’s barely budged in a decade.

Photo: Silvia Jansen/Getty ImagesAll of these gender gap stats and more come courtesy of a census-based report by the American Association of University Women. AAUW notes that in typical married households, women’s incomes account for 36 percent of total family income (as of 2008). About one third of employed mothers provide the sole source of income for their families.

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While that’s a point of pride for female breadwinners, the gender pay gap can hurt these families the most, impacting living conditions, nutrition, and opportunities for children.

Bing: Jobs that pay $100 an hour.

What can you do to make a difference? Pursuing a college education, if that’s an option, and learning how to negotiate a starting salary will help a young woman start strong out of the gate. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act showed that when women’s voices are heard — by petitioning legislators, contacting local press, and garnering support through social media — the gap can be narrowed.

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Below are the report’s five best and five worst states for gender gaps in pay (and yes, we know Washington, D.C., is not actually a state). Median salaries are shown by gender, and the women:men pay ratio is shown as a percentage. Note that the dominant industries in a state have a big impact on ratios. In California, the significant number of women in leisure and hospitality services amounts to more female-friendly pay opportunities, whereas in the coal-mining state of West Virginia, men dominate the workforce.

To learn more, you can download The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap in its entirety from the AAUW website. It’s free, too, which is helpful if the gap has you on a tight budget.

 5 Smallest Gender Pay Gaps

State

Ranking

     Women's

     Salary    

     Men’s

     Salary    

     As percentage

1. Washington, D.C.

     $60,332    

     $66,760

     90%

2. Vermont

     $38,177    

     $44,057

     87%

3. Maryland

     $48,748   

     $56,708

     86%

4. Nevada

     $35,484    

     $41,803

     85%

5. California

     $41,817    

     $49,281

     85%

 


5 Biggest Gender Pay Gaps

State

Ranking

     Women's

     Salary    

     Men’s

     Salary

     As percentage

47. North Dakota

     $32,462    

     $44,660

     73%

48. West Virginia

     $29,688    

     $42,124

     70%

49. Utah

     $32,843    

     $47,573

     69%

50. Louisiana

     $31,844    

     $46,313

     69%

51. Wyoming

     $34,381    

     $51,630

     67%

 

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Photo: Silvia Jansen/Getty Images

51Comments
Dec 14, 2012 7:13PM
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If you run a company where your employees feel like part of the company and the customer is king then you are doing the right thing and good for all of you.  However, taking people's rights away or using employees as indentured servants is not.  Unions may not be necessary but with out them as a check and balance there would be  more tyrants and less liberty.  Employers can avoid Unions and/or Labor disputes by treating your employees with respect and fair compensation.  If an employee is so dim witted not to appreciate that or disruptive then they deserve to be let go.. The other workers will support your decision. 
Dec 13, 2012 10:41PM
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So what's the problem...as long as they can cook and clean the house...all is good! LOL
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most of these articiles are not worth the time to read them they don't go into details
Dec 13, 2012 10:20PM
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as is usual with everyone of these polls, they take men's salray as whole and compare it to women's as a whole.  It is not nor has it ever been a comparison of like jobs by a man and a woman.
Dec 13, 2012 10:14PM
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  check                 
Dec 13, 2012 10:02PM
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Here is the obvious reality about gender pay differences.  Given that a man and a woman do the exact same job with the exact same efficiency/productivity the man will on average make more because the women, no matter the job, have more issues that effect their reliability.   For one, women can get pregnant and become less productive, more prone to injury, and need significant time off. Women also have complications due to menstruation that increase their likelyhood of calling in or having personal issues that effect work.   Also, on a different tact, women tend to be less assertive about pursuing raises and promotions.  There is no gender bias, it is not some kind of discrimination that causes this.  It is the natural causality of things.
Dec 13, 2012 9:57PM
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Men, who are complaining that women are physically less capable of handling heavy loads, should call their managers women! Managers delegate all the heavy labors to their co-workers, too! The difference in pay between the sexes is because of male bonds, that don't include women, making it biased, and unfair.Typecasting women under a shadow of inferiority breeds contempt!

Paying two salespeople different salaries, based on sex, is not fair, especially when the female may sell more, and may be more productive!

 

Men are lying to themselves if they believe that male muscles are the only thing that matters in the workplace!. This may be why too many old, white males flock to the bygone Tea Party, whose viewpoints belong back in the 19th century! The "hanging with the boys" mentality, where only the buddies help each other, and everyone else gets less, is not good in a healthy society! Leave it with the Tea Party and ignore them!

 

Sure, in the mines, a strong back may be beneficial, but how many Americans work in industries requiring a strong back, and how many of those men have back problems later in life?

 

Women can do anything men can do, within reason, and because they may not be able to lift a heavy load, intelligent people have devised machines to lessen the loads upon them. Doesn't this make women beneficial to our society, when the same machine that equalizes her lack of muscles, also helps the men, too?

 

There is no reason for pay inequality! Men get sick! Men take time off, due to family emergencies! Men require just as much coddling as women! Sex should not determine the wage! A secretary, capable of shuffling all the patients for a male dentist is just as important to the enterprise as the dentist who drills our teeth, or uses pliers to pull them! The dental diploma may warrant a higher salary, but the sex of the dentist did not determine whether the diploma was awarded!

 

I would like to believe that there are enlightened men out there somewhere, who would even share their triumphs with the workers, male or female, who made the success possible, and not pervert or distribute the wealth of our society as to who was the commander, and who was the slave!

  

Enlightened individuals understand the importance of equality in all matters! is there really any reason to discuss why sex should have any bearing on the payscales of graphic designers, or clothes designers, or office workers, or customer service representatives, or teachers, or taxi drivers, or flight attendants, or pilots?  

 

Should we lower the payscales of all women because they don't pass a strength test?

 

Anyone whining about the capabilities of women should think about  the heavy loads every housewife in America faces, doing laundry, doing the cooking, doing the dishes, making the beds, vacuuming, getting the groceries into the car, while all Mr. Daddy expects to do is mow a lawn, or drive the car through a carwash, unless he has a son to do it for him! That is not equity, in pay, or in anyway fair treatment based upon sex, or age either!

 

Shouldn't we acknowledge that every person, no matter what sex thay are, have special abilities, that should not be paid less or more, but paid, based on contribution?

Dec 13, 2012 9:52PM
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HELLO THERE...I AM A WOMEN WHO LIVES AND WORKS IN WYOMING.  I CAN BELIEVE THERE IS A GAP IN WAGES AS WOMEN TEND TO NOT DO THE SAME TYPE OF JOB MEN DO.  WE HAVE A LOT OF MINING AND OIL FIELD JOBS THAT PAY VERY WELL, BUT ARE DONE BY MEN.  IF I CHOSE TO DO THE SAME JOB AS MY HUSBAND I WOULD BE PAID THE SAME, BUT I CHOSE TO DO AN OFFICE JOB THAT OF COURSE PAYS LESS. 

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