Why do West Virginia women make 24% less than men?

West Virginia News

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Women’s Equality Day falls on Thursday, Aug. 26, so now is a good time to take a look at the gender pay gap not only nationally, but right here in West Virginia.

Despite major improvements for women, including increased loans for woman business owners, the gender pay gap still stands at 18% nationally, meaning that women make, on average, 18% less than men.

Business.org analyzed the wages for men versus women in every state.

The average West Virginia man makes $46,946 annually, but the average woman only makes $35,748. West Virginia was the 42nd state for the worst gender wage gap in the county with a gap of 24%, which is 6% more than the national average.

Business.org determined the ‘stop pay dates’ for women based on the gender gap in every state. Stop pay dates refer to the day of the year that an average woman would stop receiving compensation even though she worked the full year. The male counterpart would receive pay for the full year, through Dec 31.

The stop pay date for West Virginian women is Oct. 8, meaning that these women are stretching the wage of less than ten months over the full year.

Some reasons for the still drastic wage gap include:

  • Lack of equal access to funding for female-owned businesses
  • Corporate cultures that tend to promote men or where men are more likely to get raises
  • Unequal hiring practices
  • States with cultures that emphasize traditional family work structures
  • The number of women-owned businesses in a given state
  • Lack of local legislation that protects women from discriminatory corporate practices

Although there are some positions in which women do make more on average than men, such as producers, secretaries, and bus drivers, the female-leaning pay gap for these jobs is only a few percent. A few percentage difference in any job is normal.

The highest male favoring pay gaps go way beyond the expected few percent. Male legal occupants make 145% of female legal assistants. Similarly, male medical scientists and financial managers make over 130% of the wage of their female counterparts.

The national income disparity between men and women is showing signs of stagnation. The only way to take the next crucial steps towards workplace equality is to change deeply ingrained practices and cultures that tend to promote men over equally deserving women. 

Andrew Mosteller, Business.org

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