The fight for equal pay continues globally and at home, where Maine women make 82 cents for each $1 made by the state’s male residents, a new study shows.
That gap puts Maine at an 82.1 percent pay ratio, ranking it 16th nationally in gender pay equality, according to the American Association of University Women’s annual The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap report released Tuesday.
That translates into a man making $49,476 full time annually and a woman making $40,618, according to the study.
The rankings compare full-time working women with white males for comparable work.
No state had equal pay for both genders, using the study’s methodology.
California has the closest pay parity at an 89.13 percent pay ratio, meaning full-time pay annually for a man was $52,487 on average compared with $46,783 for a woman.
Louisiana ranked last with a 68.8 percent pay ratio. That translates into $50,445 annually for a man’s full-time pay compared with $34,708 for a woman.
The national average at a pay ratio of 80.50 percent ranked between 23rd and 24th of all states and the District of Columbia. That means men on average throughout the United States earned $52,146 annually, compared with $41,977 for women.
Nationally, working women lose out on $500 billion a year because of the persistent gender pay gap, with women paid only 80 cents, on average, for every dollar paid to a man, the study concludes.
The continuing gap comes at a time of record low unemployment rates.
“While the nation’s unemployment rate is down, and the number of women working is up, the wage gap is sadly remaining stagnant,” Kim Churches, chief executive officer of AAUW, said in a prepared statement. “It’s unacceptable. There is no gender differentiation when it comes to quality, skills and talent. It’s time to close this gap and give every woman in Maine and across the country the salaries they deserve.”
By jobs, the biggest gaps were in white-collar professions, where women collectively lose out on billions of dollars annually. In total, women financial managers were paid 65 percent of what their male counterparts receive, losing $19.6 billion a year.
The pay ratio difference was 71 percent among physicians and surgeons, a $19.5 billion annual total pay loss. Others with large pay gaps included accountants and auditors, first-line supervisors of retail sales workers and registered nurses.
The only gap favoring women among the 114 occupations analyzed by AAUW was among wholesale and retail buyers, where women were paid $235 million more than men.
AAUW also classified states by the strength of their equal pay laws. In that case, Maine was ranked “moderate.”
Included in equal pay laws or remedies in Maine are a prohibition for employers to retaliate or discriminate against an employee for taking legal action to secure equal pay, procedures allowing class action lawsuits or joined claims and requiring a liable employer to pay an employee’s costs and attorney’s fees.
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