It's no secret that wage inequality is a persistent issue all around the world. Equal pay is something women have been fighting for for decades, but progress remains slow. In fact, just last month the House voted to kill an equal pay program sending a very clear message that equal wages are still not a priority for this country.
Regardless of the field, women are paid less than their male counterparts. These disparities, however, do vary in severity depending on the industry. Further, though wage inequality affects all women, women of color are disproportionately affected, with Black women making significantly less than their white counterparts and Latinas making even less.
So, we know this is a problem across the whole country. But does this issue vary depending on the region? New statistics say yes.
According to WalletHub's analysis of 2017’s Best & Worst States for Women's Equality, there are many state differences when it comes to wages. According to them, the best five states when it comes to women's equality are Hawaii, Nevada, Illinois, Minnesota, and Washington State. Conversely, the worst five are Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Utah.
The analysis also included some interesting reflections on this issue. For example, they reiterated that in every single state, women earn less than men. However, they noted that Hawaii is the state with the smallest gap — women earn 12 percent less than men. When it comes to pay alone, Wyoming was the worst state with a 31 percent gap.
Particularly striking was the finding that every state legislature contains more male lawmakers than female. Nevada has the smallest gap with 34.2 percent more males than females, while Wyoming (again) has the largest gap, with 87.5 percent more males in the legislature.
This is linked directly to wage and other types of gender inequality. After all, those in legislature — and elsewhere in politics — have the power to affect policymaking. If there are little to no women present, will wage equality ever be a real priority?
Women’s Equality Day is Saturday, so it's a great time to reflect on the fact that the U.S. still only ranks 45 out of 144 countries on the Global Gender Gap Index.
We have made strides in recent years, focusing on discrimination in the workplace. Let's continue to fight against these issues, speak up, and always remember to advocate for those who have it worse than us.
For more, check out Wallethub's interactive map.
(Image via Pixabay)