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Lead Your Team Women in Business

Gender Pay Gap Persists for Women

Women aren’t doing better in the workplace, according to newly released data. A white woman who works full time year-round, only makes 75 cents for each dollar earned by a white man, a fact sheet released by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) and based on data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census reported.

It’s even worse if you’re a woman of color. African-American women only make 62 cents for every dollar earned by a white man, the data sheet showed. And Hispanic/Latina women only earn 53 cents.

The 2009 media annual earnings for employed women were $36,278, compared with $47,127 for men, a female-to-male ratio of 77 percent, or a 23 percent gender wage gap.  This gender wage gap actually deteriorated slightly in 2009 from a level of 77.1 percent in 2008, after peaking at 77.8 percent in 2007, the data showed.

Both sexes were affected by the recession, according to the Bureau of the Census. Fewer women — 2.4 million— and fewer men — 6.9 million — had full-time year-round jobs in 2009 than in 2007 when the recession began. The Bureau also reported that the United States added 360,000 female-headed households in 2009, compared to 2008.

 “Families are more dependent than ever on the earnings of women , especially in communities of color,” said Dr. Robert Drago, the IWPR’s research director.

Significantly, the IWPR said that closing the gender wage gap is not a zero-sum game – gains for one gender do not require losses for the other. For the gender wage gap to close, women’s real wages must rise faster than men’s, the IWPR said, but, as the economy begins to grow, real wages should rise for both men and women.

Ned Smith
Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.