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Trending: How Wide is Our Wage Gap?

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If all things were equal, Connecticut men and women in would all take home the state’s median earnings of $54,184 a year.

But all things aren’t equal here, and while women make up 42.7 percent of the state’s workforce, census data shows that female full-time workers earn an average of $15,336 less than the state’s men each year, meaning that for every dollar a Connecticut man earns, a Connecticut woman makes 75.2 cents.

Sure, it beats the spread in Darien, where women in the workforce earn an average of $157,566 less every year than men in the workforce, with ladies pulling in 33.7 cents for every dollar made by a man.

It’s even close to the national average of women making 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, but it’s not exactly something to celebrate, said Sarah Jane Glynn, associate director of women’s economic policy at the Center for American Progress.

“I think it’s a huge problem, obviously for women, because if you’re being discriminated against in terms of your wages and not receiving a fair wage for your work, that’s problematic,” Glynn said.

“And I think that frankly, it’s also a problem for men, because at the end of the day, many men are in families with women and have female partners that are working. And if she’s not getting paid as much as she should be, that’s going to affect the family’s bottom line,” she continued.

While Jim O’Neill, spokesman for the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities said “the number of women who complain about not getting as much as their male counterparts is small,” the number of women earning significantly less than men is, in fact, pretty large.

Every year, the American Association of University Women explores the pay gap between men and women, calculating the disparity between what full-time, year-round male workers make, when compared to full-time, year-round female workers. In the 2013 round of the report, women were up to 77 cents per dollar, after a slow increase that began in 1971, when women were making 60 cents for every buck brought home by a man.

That difference encompasses men and women across companies, industries and job titles, rather than comparing two employees with similar skills in the same position, a process that Glynn said helps paint an accurate picture about American economic realities for men and women as a whole.

“Women are encouraged subtly – and explicitly in some instances – to go into jobs that offer lower wages overall,” she said. “And it’s not just about the choices that women are making, but there are larger societal pressures around what we think women can be.”

And the difference in the fields and positions Southwestern Connecticut women fill is at the heart of this area’s wage gap. For instance, in Bridgeport, 95 percent of full-time workers employed in architecture and engineering occupations are men, while only 5 percent are women.  In Stamford, the spread is 79 percent men and 21 percent women; it’s 81 percent to 19 percent in Greenwich, and 87 percent to 13 percent in Danbury.

“In fields where it’s very clear how to be successful, women tend to prosper,” said Catherine Hill, director of research at AAUW.

“So if you want to be a doctor, it’s pretty clear that you go and get a medical degree. If you want to be a lawyer, you get a law degree, and women do well in school and are willing to make that investment in themselves,” she said. “But then in some of the financial and computer science areas, you can get a degree that is relevant, but … where the way that one advances is more informal.”

Not only are women less likely to make the same amount of money in many of these fields – like management, business and financial occupations, where the average earnings for Fairfield County women working full-time amounts to $79,198 a year, compared to men’s average salary of $130,091, a ratio of 61 cents per dollar – but women are also less likely to work in that sphere at all. In Fairfield County, women make up 35 percent of that sector, with even starker disparities in some of the more well-to-do towns.

In New Canaan, for instance, women earn 42 cents for each dollar a man makes, making its 58-cent wage gap second only to neighboring Darien. And while management, business and financial occupations claim more employees than any other fields in New Canaan, only 21.5 percent of staff in these fields are women, who earn more than $110,000 a year less than New Canaan men in the field on average.

And in New Canaan, like in Darien, there are significantly smaller percentages of women in the workforce than the national norm, especially for married women. An analysis of census figures shows that roughly 61 percent of married women across the country are part of the labor force, but in New Canaan, the figure is only 41.6 percent.

“I think part of it is that we have this nostalgic idea of what the family is supposed to look like, which is frankly a false memory,” Glynn said. “Most families didn’t ever look like ‘Leave it to Beaver,’ but we still have this romantic notion we cling to of Dad in the office and Mom staying home and baking cookies for the kids.”

And in our modern world, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

With women’s work financially undervalued when compared to men’s, “if something comes up, requiring someone to stay at home, it makes sense for the parent who makes less to be that person,” according to Glynn.

“And the flip side is that the fact that women are more likely than men to drop out of the workforce is one of the reasons behind the wage gap,” she said.

maggie.gordon@scni.com; 203-964-2229; http://twitter.com/MagEGordon; http://Facebook.com/TrendingWithMaggieGordon

 

 

Maggie Gordon

14 Responses

  1. Lori D says:

    This writer did not explain how the census bureau came up with the numbers. Please watch Julie and she will explain it all.

  2. Lori D says:

    People think that feminism is about equality.It once was. Now it is a hate movement against men, boys and christians. They are trying o convince the readers by cherry picking certain facts from certain government agencies.Fred was right. Certain groups of women make more than certain groups of men in different demographics.The Department Of Labor( they did not state this one for stats because it would not fit their narrative) states that college educated women with no children 30 years old and younger make more than males with the same education and age.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZAuqkqxk9A

  3. Phineas Taylor says:

    So letting a mother raise her children is “nostalgic” Mizz Glynn? This is sickening. Tell that to the thousands of women stuck in homeless shelters with their kids. Ask them if they like that more than having a husband who makes enough to support them. There are many thousands of mothers working who also have to get home to feed their children. This is the reason for the “wage gap”. The Marxists hate mothers and families so they would like to see all children sent to Government training camps every morning. It must infuriate them when mothers still refuse to cooperate.

    If you want to help women make it slightly more difficult for men to run away from their wives and children. In fact if you allow companies to pay married men more so they can support their wives it would also be a huge help.

  4. David says:

    I have no doubt the statistics are genuine, but the conclusion that the wage gap is due primarily to discrimination is bogus. The Darien difference puts the lie to that. Women who don’t /need/ to work – who attach themselves to a man for their primary means of income, that is – don’t need to negotiate, to compete, to vie for the best positions – all those unpleasant but necessary expectations that are the man’s burden.

    I’d like to see stats controlled for factors like education, experience, marital status etc. You’d see that gap all but disappear, I’d bet.

    Oh, and Fred’s assessment of the UAAW is on-target.

  5. FHA Exposed says:

    Lovely: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYEc5stUHg4

    For those who have yet to watch Part 1 please do so here first:

    Nice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jcf0_3SA8xE

  6. Alex says:

    This article is grossly misleading. Lets just add up all the wages of men and all the wages of women, take the average and compare the two then claim that’s the wage gap. What is your agenda? Find me an exact instance of two employees, 1 female and 1 male being offered different amounts for the same entry job and you’ll have some merit but you won’t find such a instance because that’s already illegal. When a majority of teachers are women and a majority of engineers and managers are men, it’s obvious that the average of those positions will different greatly. CTNews you should be ashamed for publishing misleading titles like this as the majority of individuals don’t understand statistics well enough to see the difference. But clearly you knew that and published this anyways.

  7. Fred says:

    Warren Farrell is the former president of NOW. He explains about the pay gap myth. females are not making less because of sexism in the workplace but because of personal decisions.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpYXn1e2PHg. Certain feminist need to create false problems inorder to receive federal reserch money.

  8. Dolly says:

    Women don’t make as much because they can’t get the same type of job opportunities to progress that men do. I see it every day where I work. Old Boys Club is still in effect.

  9. ProLiberty says:

    Poor women of Darien. Do they need governmental assistance? Sarcasm… Fred is correct. The wage gap is a myth and the provided statistics highlight the flawed measurement. When you compare childless female professionals they often earn more than their male counterparts in the same field.

  10. really? says:

    Fred, what exactly are you afraid of?

  11. chris123 says:

    The wage gap myth has long been discredited.

    Men comprise a higher percentage of doctors than women. Women comprise a higher percentage of nurses than men.
    Doctors get paid more than nurses.

    Men comprise a higher percentage of engineers than women.
    Women comprise a higher percentage of teachers than men.
    Engineers get paid more than teachers.

    That wage disparity is not attributable to sexism.

  12. Fred, as stated in the article, the data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau, which is a government agency.

  13. Fred says:

    The wage gap is a myth. It is illegal to pay women less. Women make less because of many reasons. One reason is because they work less than men, take more days off . they also make personal choices The AAUV IS NOT A GOVERNMENT LABOR AGENCY 1. It is a feminist partisan organization. What are the government agencies stats?They did not site government agencies statistic. They would prove their narrative wrong