WOMEN STILL STRUGGLING TO CLOSE $530,000 GENDER GAP
A recent study titled “Status of Women in the States” commissioned by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research” highlighted new information in the ongoing battle in the US to close the Gender Gap as regards equal pay for equal jobs. The study showed women born between 1950 and 1959 lose $530,000 over a lifetime due to the Gender Gap. As that group nears retirement age a $530,000 investment in an IRA or mutual fund could really improve living in retirement.
The Gender Gap is even wider for college educated women. These women experience an $800,000 difference in lifetime earnings versus men in equal positions.
The struggle for women’s rights is centuries old. Queen Victoria who governed Great Britain from 1837 until her death in 1901 once stated: “The Queen is most anxious to enlist everyone who can speak or write to join in checking this wicked folly of Women’s Rights…” I included that quote to give credence to an estimate that given the current rate of advancement the Gender Gap will not be closed in this country until 2059. It is mind boggling to consider that estimate. However, the struggle goes back to the Victorian Age and is still not resolved in 2015.
NEW YORK STATE and WASHINGTON D.C. BEST PLACES FOR WOMEN
Women in New York State earn $.88 to every $1.00 earned by men which places them at the top of all the 50 states.
Women in Louisiana earn $.67 to every $1.00 earned by men which places them at the bottom of all the states. West Virginia is the second worst state and also has the fewest females as a percent of the labor force.
Women in Washington D.C. have the highest average salary at $60,000 per year. While this may appear to be good news it must be tempered with the Gender Gap information coming from those employed at the White House. Women employed by the White House have an average salary of $78,400. This salary obviously helps in achieving the $60,000 average for the city. However, men employed by the White House earn an average salary of $88,600. The 13% Gender Gap mirrors exactly the national Gender Gap average. So even though President Obama made it a campaign point to raise the issue of a Gender Gap and urge Americans to close the gap or end it he has failed to deliver on his own staff at his own place of business. Talk alone will not close the Gender Gap.
FEMALE MILLENNIALS: TILTING THE SCALE
There are some encouraging signs out there. Female Millennial’s in the state of New York aged 25-34 earn $1.02 to every $1.00 earned by men. This interesting statistic also came from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research study. However, this lone triumph does not signal an end to the struggle as some columnists and pundits have put forth. It is one demographic in one state. In the demographic 47% of women have bachelor’s degrees versus 38% of men. The higher education achievement could well be the explanation for the higher salaries enjoyed by these women.
WOMEN BETTER EMPLOYEES
A recent study by the New York Times showed women bring new knowledge, skills, and networks to the table; take fewer unnecessary risks; are more inclined to contribute to their team / company to make it better. Successful venture backed start ups have double the percent of women versus start ups that fail. Standard & Poor’s studied 1500 companies over 15 years and found firms that pursued innovation were more successful the more women they had in top management. Thus, there is good evidence that while women perform at a very proficient level in the business world their compensation does not accurately reflect their contributions.
I close this with a question: what good manager would pay the best employees less money?
The answer: none that want to successfully continue in business.