The stubborn pay equity gap between men and women – larger in Connecticut than some neighboring states – apparently has its roots in childhood.
National surveys indicate that parents are more likely to give their sons an allowance than their daughters. Among all young people surveyed, 67 percent of boys compared with 59 percent of girls say they get an allowance from their parents, according to Junior Achievement USA® (JA) and The Allstate Foundation’s 2014 Teens & Personal Finance Survey.
A study by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research found that girls do two more hours of housework a week than boys, while boys spend twice as much time playing. The same study confirmed that boys are still more likely to get paid for what they do: they are 15 percent more likely to get an allowance for doing chores than girls. Study Director Frank Stafford indicated that the trend continues into adulthood.
Writing this month in the National Journal, Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro pointed out that “right now, women make less than men in nearly every occupation for which wage data are tracked. One year out of college, women are paid 18 percent less than their male counterparts. Ten years out of college, the wage gap leaves women earning 31 percent less. Over a 35-year career, these earnings discrepancies swell to exceedingly large sums. Across the entire workforce, the average career-long pay gap is $434,000. For college-educated women, the pay deficit averages $654,000.”
Earlier this year, CT Mirror reported that “women in Connecticut earn about 78 percent of what men make. Numbers from the 2012 Census show that Connecticut’s gender wage gap is wider than in many other states in the Northeast; and that, within the state, the gender difference varies as well. The most pronounced gap…is in Fairfield County.”
In a November 2013 report, the Governor’s Gender Wage Gap Task Force indicated that “Connecticut still has a long way to go before the gender wage gap is eliminated.” The 14-member task force found that that “more mothers than ever before are the sole or primary breadwinners of their families. Yet, women in Connecticut are more likely than men to live in poverty and below the self-sufficiency standard. 24% of households in Connecticut headed by women with children fall below the federal poverty level. Eliminating the wage gap would provide critical income to these families.”
The report also indicated that “among all full-time, year-round workers, Connecticut women earn, on average, 22%-24.2%less than men. This gap is even more pronounced among minority women. Understanding this inequity is not a simple matter. Many factors contribute to the overall wage gap including education and skills, experience, union membership, training, performance, hours worked and the careers women and men choose. However, even after these factors are controlled for, an estimated wage gap of 5-10% remains.”
In 2012, the National Partnership for Women and Families reported that “If the wage gap were eliminated, a working woman in Connecticut would have enough money for approximately:
- 109 more weeks of food
- 7 more months of mortgage and utilities payments
- 14 more months of rent
- 44 more months of family health insurance premiums
- 3,410 additional gallons of gas
The Connecticut Task Force issued a series of recommendations to address the pay equity gap, focused on current workplaces, businesses, training and education. Apparently, efforts need to begin sooner, when youngsters begin household chores and ask for an allowance.