Indiana has the 5th greatest disparity between the average wages of men and average wages of women. While the national gap between men and women’s wages is 77 cents for every dollar, in Indiana the gap is 72 cents for every dollar.
Though the figures itself seem to indicate the prevalence of gender discrimination, some would argue that the difference is primarily due to the different type of job duties that women perform versus what men perform. Yet studies indicate that when education, training and number of work hours are taken into account, women still are on the losing end when it comes to wage equality.
One major problem is women are still being retaliated against for speaking out against workplace discrimination. It is felt that such anti-retaliation laws at both the state and the federal level need to be strengthened before we can expect to see a substantial reduction in the wage gap.
Though it is not a cure-all, lawsuits brought against employers that continue to discriminate based upon gender may help level the playing field. Attorneys experienced in litigating such matters can help bring attention concerning such matters.
The Equal Pay Act that became law in 1963 has narrowed the gap on a national level from 60 cents to 77 cents for every dollar. However, even such a narrowing of the gap is not that significant when one considers how much the workforce has changed in close to 50 years. If this trend continues, it would still take another 80 years before wages of men and women would be equal.
Source: WBAA, “Equal Pay Day,” by Brandon Smith, April 17, 2012