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home : most recent : statewide implications December 11, 2018

4/5/2018 12:03:00 PM
Indiana women may not see equal pay until 2082, according to study

Joseph S. Pete, Times of Northwest Indiana

Women in Indiana make 72 cents to the dollar that Hoosier men do on average, and they won't see equal pay until 2082 if current trends continue, according to a new study.

The Institute for Women's Policy Research gave Indiana a D for the economic status of women, who made an average of $35,100 last year in Indiana compared to an average of $49,000 for men, despite having a higher share of managerial and professional jobs.

Indiana ranked 48th nationwide in gender pay ratio and dead last in the work and family category largely because of a "lack of legislative support for policies like paid leave, elder and dependent care, child care and prekindergarten," according to the annual Status of Women in the States study. The think tank said lawmakers failed to even give hearings to bills that would boost women's economic outcomes, including a paid family leave program, workplace accommodations for pregnant women, minimum wage hikes and improvements to the state's equal pay law.

“The Indiana Legislature has yet to make improving women’s economic status a priority,” said Indiana Institute for Working Families policy analyst Erin Macey. “It’s not surprising that we have seen no progress on these measures.”

The study found Hoosier women are better educated than their male counterparts, with 26.1 percent having attained at least a bachelor's degree compared to 25.3 percent for men. But only 84.3 percent of women in Indiana live above the poverty line, as compared to 87 percent of men, and 31 percent of employed women work in low-wage jobs.

Thirty-four percent of women own their own businesses, as compared to 52.9 percent of men, according to the study. Hoosier men also are 2.6 times more likely to work in the fast-growing science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, sector.

In addition to earning less on average, millennial women in the Hoosier state also suffered 20.1 more days per year of depression than millennial men, the study found.

Related Stories:
• Hoosier Women Forward gain momentum as donation surpass $120,000 mark
• OPINION: We need better thinking about the gender pay gap

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