Indiana women make 74 cents to every dollar that men make on average. Black women make 62 cents for every dollar that men make, and Latino women make 54 cents per every dollar. The circumstances really are not much better nationwide as women overall make 77 cents for every dollar across the country.
Though there could be any number of reasons for such a gap beyond gender discrimination, Indiana nevertheless is ranked fifth from the bottom when it comes to equity in women’s pay. One economist believes that Indiana’s low ranking has much to do with the makeup of the state’s population.
To fairly judge why this occurs, one would have to look at the educational level of women in Indiana as compared to other states, the number of single women, the rate of women that left the workforce to raise a family, the rate of divorce, and the number of women that have consistently remained within the workforce.
Since Indiana employs a larger percentage of the workforce in the manufacturing area, a larger portion of the workforce are engaged in occupations traditionally held by men. However, though this may be used to excuse such a wage gap, it must be remembered that such a wage gap exists in practically all industries.
If we are going to stick to traditional notions, women will never be given the opportunity to bridge this gap. There is proposed federal legislation to displace such gender discrimination and put women on equal footing with men when it concerns wages. And while we wait for such legislation to pass, experienced employment attorneys will also assist women in cases where gender discrimination is taking place.
Source: Indianapolis Business Journal, “Researchers mull reasons behind Indiana’s gender wage gap,” April 23, 2012