News / USA

US Women Can't Close the Pay Gap

More females graduate from college, but men still make more money

More US women are earning college degrees but that advancement in education hasn’t translated into income equality in the workplace.
More US women are earning college degrees but that advancement in education hasn’t translated into income equality in the workplace.

Multimedia

Audio
Faiza Elmasry

March is Women’s History Month in the United States, an opportunity to examine how far women have come and the areas where there is still work to be done. One of these areas is employment and income, according to a recent report released by the White House.

"Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being" offers a look at the full measure of a woman’s life.

"It’s the first comprehensive federal report of this nature since President Kennedy appointed Eleanor Roosevelt in the early 1960s to do a report on women," says Rebecca Blank, undersecretary of economic affairs, adding the new report covers five main areas of women’s lives. "It brings together data focusing on families, education, income and employment, health, and crime and violence, and really highlights the trends of what’s happening in women’s lives across all of those domains over the last 20 to 30 years."

Compiling data from a variety of federal agencies, Blank says, revealed both positive and negative trends. Women are less likely than in the past to be the victims of violent crimes, including homicide. Women are marrying later and having fewer children than in the past. They make up 51 percent of the general population, and 57 percent of Americans over 65. Women are more likely than men to face health problems such as arthritis, obesity and depression… and are less likely to suffer from heart disease and diabetes. The report highlights significant improvement in the field of education.

"There is good news in this report that suggests that women, their educational rates, are growing faster than men's," says Blank. "In fact, if you look at young women, they are graduating from college at a higher rate than young men right now in the United States. That’s true among all race and ethnic groups, not just white women."

But women’s advancement in education hasn’t translated into income equality in the workplace.  

"One reason is that they are not going into the kind of fields that are high in income producing," says Valerie Jarrett, chairwoman of the White House Council on Women and Girls, who adds that the Obama Administration wants to eliminate that wage gap. "So the president, since early on in his administration, has had an effort to encourage women and girls to go into science and technology and engineering and math."  

There are also other reasons for the pay inequity.

"When women accept a position, they often don’t negotiate the beginning salary in the same way that a man does," says Lee Ann De Reus, associate professor of women’s studies at Penn State Altoona. "This report also indicates that once women have a job, they are not likely as men to negotiate for salary increases over the years. Also, you have a lot of women who are working part time. So there are multiple reasons why women are still trying to balance work and family in a way that men are not. Part of that gets back to what it is that we think a man’s role is in the society and what we think a woman’s role is in the society."

De Reus hopes the "Women in America" report will highlight how the issues facing women today impact children, families and society as a whole.

"The bottom line is that we all win. The country wins when we’re taking care of its citizens. I think with this report indicates that we’ll do better as a nation and our future will be brighter, if we start attending to the needs of women. It will only benefit all of us."

The authors hope the information they’ve gathered in the "Women in America" report will translate into policies and initiatives to help women move forward and prepare girls for a life that’s better than what their mothers and grandmothers had.

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid