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Study: Closing wage gap boosts North Carolina economy
Equal pay for women boosts overall economy
Published Monday, June 18, 2018 8:46 am
by Herbert L. White

The economic health of North Carolina rides with wage equality, according to a report.

The Status of Women in North Carolina report on Employment and Earnings includes research conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research to provide key data and policy recommendations to improve the lives of North Carolina women.

“The status of women in North Carolina is an issue for all of us because women are key parts of our families, our communities, our workforce, and our economy,” said N.C. Department of Administration Secretary Machelle Sanders.  “Bringing more women into the labor force, helping women succeed in a wider range of jobs, and continuing to close the gender wage gap will help North Carolina women, their families, and our communities overall. When women thrive, North Carolina thrives.”

Among the findings in the report, co-authrored by the N.C. Council for Women and Youth Involvement:

• Two-thirds of mothers with children under age 5 work and nearly 75 percent of mothers with children under age 18 do the same.

• The share of women in the workforce fell 3 percent from 2002 to 2016 from 60 percent to 57 percent.

• Women make up more than half the state’s population, and eliminating the gender wage gap would reduce the poverty rate among them by more than 50 percent.

• The gender wage gap has narrowed from 26.3 percent in 2002 to 19.1 percent in 2016.

• There are huge geographical disparities in women’s median annual earnings, ranging from $25,000 in Washington County in Eastern N.C. to $47,555 in Orange County, which includes the University of North Carolina's flagship campus in Chapel Hill.

• If working women were paid the same as their male peers, the increase in pay would amount to $15.6 billion, equivalent to 3 percent of the state’s gross domestic product.

The report underscores many of the key priorities of Gov. Roy Cooper’s job preparation initiative, such as improving access to affordable quality child care and opportunities to acquire skills in high-demand fields with low participation by women to spark economic growth.

"It's important to the success of North Carolina's economy that businesses embrace diversity and inclusiveness by creating a workforce where women are key contributors and members at all management levels, including the boardrooms,” Sanders said.

As follow up to the report, the North Carolina Council for Women and Youth Involvement and the Department of Administration will tour the state to share the report findings and hear local community input on the status of women. The Council will also create a website aggregating resources and organizations that are working to provide services to women.

Future annual Status of Women in North Carolina reports over the next three years will focus on health and reproductive rights, poverty and opportunity, and political participation.


Many of America's most sophisticated women choose to earn less than their male counterparts:

?In 2011, 22% of male physicians and 44% of female physicians worked less than full time, up from 7% of men and 29% of women from Cejka?s 2005 survey.? http://www.amednews.com/article/20120326/business/303269974/1/

"Why Women Are Leaving the Workforce in Record Numbers"

"Some years ago, for example, I found out that young young female doctors made much less money than young male doctors...but when you're looking into it you discover that young male doctors work an average of 500 hours a year more than young female doctors and they get paid for the 500 hours...." -An April 18, 2018, Rubin Report interview of Thomas Sowell about his book "Discrimination and Disparities," at 31:36 in the YouTube video.

"...34 percent of women pursuing graduate degrees are in an education field, where the median salary is less than $70,000, while that field attracts only 13 percent of men in grad school. By contrast, men are over-represented in fields like internet technology and business, where median earnings are over $100,000." http://www.nasdaq.com/article/grad-school-can-be-worth-it-if-you-pick-wisely-20180110-01206

"...[O]nly 35 percent of women who have earned MBAs after getting a bachelor?s degree from a top school are working full time." It "is not surprising that women are not showing up more often in corporations? top ranks."

"In general, across all college majors, women are four times more likely than men to become social workers and 35 times more likely to become preschool or kindergarten teachers. And though women make up almost 60 percent of undergraduate students on campuses nationwide, they are also 30 percent likelier not to be working after graduation."

"Compared to men, women view professional advancement as equally attainable, but less desirable" http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/09/15/1502567112.full.pdf

"Women Dominate College Majors That Lead to Lower-Paying Work" -Harvard Business Review, April 19, 2017 https://hbr.org/2017/04/women-dominate-college-majors-that-lead-to-lower-paying-work

"A study of students graduating from Carnegie Mellon found that 57% of males negotiated for a higher starting salary than had been offered, compared to just 7% of females. As a result, starting salaries of men were 7.6% (almost $4,000) higher than those of women." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maximilian-martinez/important-considerations--in-assessing-the-gender-wage-gap-in-medicine_b_6566762.html

Men help create the gender wage gap by choosing jobs that pay enough to support themselves, a spouse, and children -- something women rarely do.

See other reasons the wage gap hasn't closed after thousands of measures over many decades:

"Salary Secrecy ? Discrimination Against Women?" http://malemattersusa.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/salary-secrecy-discrimination-against-women/
Posted on June 18, 2018

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