GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A new study shows while the education gap between men and women is getting smaller, women still aren’t getting equal pay.
The University of Vermont study examines gender equality across the world, finding women have reached 90% of the education level of men, but only 70% of their employment rate. These findings challenge the assumption that education means equal access to high-paying jobs.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women are still earning less than men across the board, not just in more profitable jobs.
Statistics show that for salary workers, the median weekly earnings are $169 more for men than for women.
WNCT wanted to find out why. ECU’s Dr. Rachel Roper serves on the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women.
“Really until 20 years ago, all professions were male-dominated except for teaching and nursing. And so, as women try to move into these fields, they can become very uncomfortable because of sexual harassment issues, because of these micro-aggressions where women are treated with less respect than are males in the profession,” Dr. Roper said.
Dr. Roper says there’s bias against hiring and promoting women. They tend to receive less career mentoring and they have more responsibilities for things like child care.
Some advocates suggest policy changes are needed, while Dr. Roper says employers need to be held accountable.
“People will speed if there are not police officers giving speeding tickets, people will run red lights if there are not police. So you need some sort of monitoring and enforcement to watch and see that women are being treated equally and allowed to progress,” Dr. Roper said.
ECU recently completed a Faculty Salary Equity Study and found there was no evidence of pay discrimination here.