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By Emily Greenhalgh
PBN Web Editor
WASHINGTON – Women in the Rhode Island make, on average, 85 cents to every dollar paid to men, according to a new report released by the National Partnership for Women and Families.
In Rhode Island, the median pay for a woman working full time, year round is $41,412 annually, while the median annual pay for a man is $48,842 – a yearly gap of $7,430 between full-time working men and women in the metro area, according to the partnership’s report.
If the wage gap were eliminated, the report says a full-employed Providence area woman would have enough money for roughly: 57 more weeks of food, four more months of mortgage and utility payments, eight more months of rent or 1,986 more gallons of gasoline.
The report – “Working Women and the Wage Gap” – added that 55,274 households in the Rhode Island are headed by women and that 30 percent of those households have incomes that fall below the poverty level.
“Eliminating the wage gap would provide much-needed income to women whose salaries are of critical importance to them and their families,” said the report.
In the Providence metropolitan area, women make 81 cents for every dollar paid to men, according to the report. In the metro area, the median pay for a woman working full time, year round is $40,893 annually, while the median annual pay for a man is $50,283 – a yearly gap of $9,390 between full-time working men and women in the metro area.
Nationally, women who hold full-time, year-round jobs are paid an average of 77 cents for every dollar paid to men.
The analysis was conducted by the national Partnership for Women and Families and is based on U.S. Census Bureau data.
“This new analysis illustrates the great harm to families, states and metropolitan areas caused by the pervasive gender-based wage gap,” Debra L. Ness, president of the partnership, said in prepared remarks. “With most women serving as essential breadwinners for their families, the loss of this critical income has devastating consequences. Local, state and federal lawmakers should make ending gender discrimination in pay and promotions a much higher priority.”
According to the report, the gender wage gap has been closing at a rate of less than half a cent per year since passage of the Equal Pay Act in 1963. “At that rate, it is estimated that women will not be paid equally for more than 40 years,” said the report.
“Fifty years ago this year, the Equal Pay Act became law. Yet a punishing wage gap persists for women across the country,” said Ness. “We must do more to close the wage gap, which is present in every part of the country and every industry, and affects workers with every level of education. … It is past time the country finally make gender-based pay discrimination a thing of the past.”
To see the full report, visit: www.nationalpartnership.org.