Women getting no where near equal pay; Gender gap in Wisconsin revealed

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LA CROSSE, Wis (WEAU)- In every state women are making less than what men make. A recent release by ‘Slate’ shows that in Wisconsin women are making an average of only 66 cents for every dollar a man in a similar job makes.

In Eau Claire and La Crosse counties women are doing worse than the state average. Women in the two counties are only getting 65 cents on the dollar. Rusk County had the most closely matched figure at 76-cents on the dollar.

Professional Studies Director Patricia Markos knows about the gender gap first hand.

“I came in as an assistant professor at 32 thousand a year at UNLV. Several years later the Dean came to me and said ‘we are going to give you an equity raise because you came in at a lower rate than several other men for the exact same position’ and I had more experience than them!” said Markos.

Since then Markos has always been fascinated by researching gender gap statistics.

“The national average is 77 cents to the dollar, so when I heard the new data I was not surprised. I have been researching in La Crosse area and finding that women are really suffering,” said Markos.

What Markos has found is that the problem goes deeper than being just a gender gap, ethnicity also plays a huge role.

“Hispanic women are making 44 cents to the dollar compared to men. African American women are a little bit more (than Hispanic) but still less than that 65 cents to the dollar,” said Markos.

Let’s do the math; if women are only getting 65 cents for ever dollar a man makes that’s the same as only making $65 dollars for every $100 a man earns with the same job. For $1,000 dollars that’s only $650, and an average income of $35 thousand for a male would have women making only 22,750. That’s more than a 12 thousand dollar difference.

“I think it was a big step backwards to repeal the pay equity law, and I fear that the gap will become larger now,” said representative Jennifer Shilling (D).

One of the reasons why there is such a big gender gap, Markos says that the majority of jobs for women are naturally lower paying ones.

“Retail jobs, education, and some health care jobs actually pay a lot less,” said Markos.

We tried to contact Bill Feehan, he’s the republican running against Jennifer Shilling for congress. He was unavailable for comment.

To look at the Slates gender gap statistics CLICK HERE .

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