UTAH (ABC4) – Women in America have been mistreated for some time now. Past research has confirmed heightened income and poverty rate differences among women in Utah, as well as our state’s tendency to objectify women.
The wage gap is just one way in which Utah women are disrespected. Nationally, men have been earning more than women for working the same jobs since the beginning of time. In 2022, American men will earn an average of $10,381 more than American women.
As a tribute to March being National Women’s History Month, and as International Women’s Day falls annually on March 8, a recent study published by Business.org compiled data from governmental and academic sources to compare the nation’s smallest and largest gender pay gaps by state and occupation. Unfortunately, statistics for the state of Utah were disturbingly high.
In the Beehive State alone, women earn an average of 30.9% less than men, ranking Utah second to last on the list of America’s gender pay gaps by state.
For reference, the wage gap between men and women remains at nearly 20% for everyone across the country. The states with the worst wage gaps range from 21.8% to 34.6%. Wyoming has the worst wage gap with women earning 34.6% less than men. Women in Mississippi have the lowest median income at $34,279, placing the Magnolia state at No. 48 for its 26.8% gender pay gap.
Though not a state, Washington D.C. was recorded as having the smallest wage gap, though women still earn 8% less than men.
The U.S. saw modest efforts to close the wage gap in the ’80s and 90’s, but since 2004, the progress has stagnated and the wage gap has only closed to 2% (from 80% to 82%).
In regards to occupations where the wage gap is beginning to experience a shift, female compliance officers in the U.S., who work to ensure that government regulations are met, earn up to 7% more than men in the same positions. Similarly, female graphic designers, pharmacists, clinical laboratory technologists and technicians, clerks, and purchasing agents all have the upper hand when it comes to their earnings compared to their male counterparts.
Positions that tend to have near-equal pay for men and women alike include cashiers, fast food workers, and school bus drivers.
The worst wage gaps of roughly 44% are experienced by securities, commodities, and financial service sales agents. Women in those positions earn just barely half of what men in the same positions do. Legal occupations and medical scientists follow, paying women only 60% of what men earn.
When asked how businesses can help improve the gender pay gap, Mark Daoust, reputable founder and CEO of Quiet Light, weighed in, saying, “Every company needs to start by reviewing their hiring practices, the gender pay gap often starts right at the beginning. It’s important to not rely on salary history to set pay for new hires, as you may be perpetuating past pay inequities. Be aware that some women are less likely to negotiate, so it’s important to offer salaries that reflect the responsibilities of a role without relying on an individual to advocate for a certain salary.”