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Where Can Working Women Make Most Vs. Men? [AUDIO]

Despite the strides we’ve made in the United State, women are still making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn in the workplace.

Working Women
Flickr User Victor 1558

When it comes to working women, the closer they are to cities, the closer they can get to closing that gap.

“It turns out that some of the best places to be for women aren’t necessarily on a statewide level, but actually in counties or around major cities where income equality seems to be really good. That includes New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.,” said Terri Boyer, Executive Director of the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University. “New Jersey is in the middle when you look at a state-by-state comparison, despite our proximity to New York City. We’re still not one of the best states in terms of income equality.”

Women in Utah have it the worst. In fact, the average working woman there makes 55 cents for every dollar that a man makes. Wyoming, Louisiana, North Dakota and Michigan follow. The best states for income equality are Hawaii, Florida, Nevada, Maryland and North Carolina. When it comes to cities, Washington, D.C. and Dallas are the best, followed by San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Santa Fe, New York and Boston where women make at least 80 cents per dollar that men make.

“Some of the best companies in the world are located in cities, like New York and Washington, D.C., and so you’re looking for the best talent. When it comes to retaining the best talent, you need to pay them well. Women happen to be half of the best talent in the world, so that talent competition comes into play in bringing income equality higher on the list in those areas,” said Boyer. “Wage gap is less in lower paying jobs and greater in higher paying jobs. But that’s probably more a factor of earnings over time than the fact that income equality is better. So, when you look at fields where women have earned their highest degrees, like law or any field where they’ve earned a Bachelor’s degree or higher, the wage gap actually gets greater, which is a strange paradox.”

What needs to be done to improve the situation? “First of all, enforce the laws that the country and states already have in place that hold employers accountable for income equality. But, also make sure that some of the reasons behind the inequality are addressed, like making sure women get into fields like science, engineering and technology where they are underrepresented. It’s also important to make sure that issues like flex time and other things that impact women’s participation in the workforce over time are not set up as barriers to them making it to the top where the high pay is,” said Boyer.

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