Pay Equity Gap Between Men and Women Begins As Children, Studies Show

The stubborn pay equity gap between men and women – larger in Connecticut than some neighboring states – apparently has its roots in childhood. National surveys indicate that parents are more likely to give their sons an allowance than their daughters. Among all young people surveyed, 67 percent of boys compared with 59 percent of girls say they get an allowance from their parents, according to Junior Achievement USA® (JA) and The Allstate Foundation’s 2014 Teens & Personal Finance Survey.allowance hand

A study by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research found that girls do two more hours of housework a week than boys, while boys spend twice as much time playing. The same study confirmed that boys are still more likely to get paid for what they do: they are 15 percent more likely to get an allowance for doing chores than girls.  Study Director Frank Stafford indicated that the trend continues into adulthood. allowance graphic

Writing this month in the National Journal, Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro pointed out that “right now, women make less than men in nearly every occupation for which wage data are tracked. One year out of college, women are paid 18 percent less than their male counterparts. Ten years out of college, the wage gap leaves women earning 31 percent less.  Over a 35-year career, these earnings discrepancies swell to exceedingly large sums. Across the entire workforce, the average career-long pay gap is $434,000. For college-educated women, the pay deficit averages $654,000.”

Earlier this year, CT Mirror reported that “women in Connecticut earn about 78 percent of what men make.  Numbers from the 2012 Census show that Connecticut's gender wage gap is wider than in many other states in the Northeast; and that, within the state, the gender difference varies as well. The most pronounced gap…is in Fairfield County.”

In a November 2013 report, the Governor’s Gender Wage Gap Task Force indicated that “Connecticut still has a long way to go before the gender wage gap is eliminated.”  The 14-member task force found that that “more mothers than ever before are the sole or primary breadwinners of their families. Yet, women in Connecticut are more likely than men to live in poverty and below the self-sufficiency standard. 24% of households in Connecticut headed by women with children fall below the federal poverty level. Eliminating the wage gap would provide critical income to these families.”

The report also indicated that “among all full-time, year-round workers, Connecticut women earn, on average, 22%-24.2%less than men. This gap is even more pronounced among minority women. Understanding this inequity is not a simple matter. Many factors contribute to the overall wage gap including education and skills, experience, union membership, training, performance, hours worked and the careers women and men choose. However, even after these factors are controlled for, an estimated wage gap of 5-10% remains.”

In 2012, the National Partnership for Women and Families reported that “If the wage gap were eliminated, a working woman in Connecticut would have enough money for approximately:

  • 109 more weeks of food
  • 7 more months of mortgage and utilities payments
  • 14 more months of rent
  • 44 more months of family health insurance premiums
  • 3,410 additional gallons of gas

The Connecticut Task Force issued a series of recommendations to address the pay equity gap, focused on current workplaces, businesses, training and education.  Apparently, efforts need to begin sooner, when youngsters begin household chores and ask for an allowance.

gender gap map

CT Ranked 23rd in Nation in Pay Equity; Women Earn 78 Cents to Men’s Dollar

What do Connecticut, South Dakota, South Carolina, Wisconsin and Washington have in common?  The paycheck gap between women and men in the five states is identical – and ranked 23rd among the nation’s 50 states.  In Connecticut and the other four states, women, on average, receive 78 cents for doing equivalent work as men earning a dollar, according to an analysis published by Forbes magazine.ACS logo

The top states – with the smallest earnings gap differential - were Maryland, Nevada, Vermont (a three-way tie for first place), New York, California, Florida, Hawaii, and Maine.

For more than a decade, the comparison between the median earnings of full-time employed men and women in the U.S. has remained a stubborn 77 percent – that is, women earn roughly 77 cents on the dollar. A glimmer of prgender-pay-gap-graphic-finalogress is reflected in the total of 16 states in which women are now earning 80 cents or more to every male dollar, twice the count of 2010.

In Connecticut, just a penny above the national average, full-time annual earnings for women is $47,900; for men $61,097, according to the data.

Forbes analyzed data from the latest 2012 American Community Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, using the mean earnings for full-time, year-round female workers by state.

Forbes pointed out that in Connecticut and New Jersey, both contiguous with New York, “women can expect healthy salaries—upwards of $47,000 as a median isn’t bad—but they earn 79 and 78 cents on the dollar respectively. Historically speaking, where there’s a large concentration of jobs in very high-paying occupations like finance, media and law, you’ll often (and unfortunately) find more men in those occupations than women which can skew the overall pay gap.”

The top 25 states:

  1. Maryland (tie-1st)
  2. Nevada (tie-1st)
  3. Vermont (tie-1st)
  4. New York
  5. California
  6. Florida
  7. Hawaii
  8. Maine
  9. Arizona
  10. North Carolina
  11. Georgia
  12. Delaware
  13. Rhode Island
  14. New Mexico
  15. Colorado
  16. Minnesota
  17. Texas
  18. Massachusetts
  19. Oregon
  20. Virginia
  21. New Jersey
  22. Illinois
  23. Connecticut
  24. Washington(tie-23rd)
  25. South Dakota(tie-23rd)
  26. Wisconsin (tie-23rd)
  27. South Carolina (tie-23rd)