It was reported last month that women make less money than men in Alabama. Unfortunately, this story got very little media attention in Alabama. It was reported that while the median salary of a man in Alabama averages out at $44,567, a woman’s median salary is only $31,674. There are only five states that have no equal pay laws of any kind. Alabama, along with Mississippi, South Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin are the five. It was said in the report that myriad factors affect the amount of income folks earn. But even with those factored in, women still make a significant amount less than their male counterparts. The study was completed by the American Association of University Women and the results were released last month.
According to the study, the smallest pay gap is in Washington, D.C., where women get paid 90 percent of what men make. The widest pay gap was found in Wyoming, where women make 60 percent of what their male colleagues make. Some of the factors that play into the gap include job choice, with women more likely to be teachers. That’s another story, since we grossly underpay teachers in Alabama. Parenthood was also said to play a role.
The study found that 10 years after graduation, 23 percent of mothers were out of the workforce, and 17 percent worked part time. That contrasts fathers, with 1 percent out of the workforce, and only 2 percent working part time. Even with those factors, much of the gap is unexplained. American Progress says:
This leaves us with possible explanations that range from overt sexism to unintentional gender-based discrimination to reluctance among women to negotiate for higher pay.
In my opinion, there can be no valid excuse to pay a woman – with equal ability – doing the same job – with like tenures on that job – less money than a man would make doing the same work. A bright spot in the study found that gender segregation has decreased in the last 40 years, with women venturing into typically male-dominated professions more and more. To learn more information on Alabama and other states and to view the entire study results, you can go to http://www.aauw.org/research/the-simple-truth-about-the-gender-pay-gap/
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