Wyoming’s gender wage gap, already the largest in the country since 2004, has grown. The Wyoming Women Status Report was compiled by the bipartisan, governor-appointed Wyoming Council for Women’s Issues. The report showed the gap widened to an average of more than $17,000 in 2006, reports the Associated Press.
While Wyoming men earn an average of just under $40,000 per year, women in the state earn an average of just over $20,000. Wyoming women are paid less even within the same markets as men, particularly in the health field, reports the Casper Star-Tribune. “This report is a concerted effort to both identify and track indicators of women’s true status in the Equality State,” WCWI chair Teresa de Groh told the Star-Tribune.
Fair pay is currently at issue across the country, as the Senate committee held a hearing just last week on the Fair Pay Restoration Act. This bill would correct the 2007 Supreme Court decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. that gutted Title VII wage discrimination protections for women workers. The corrective legislation passed in the House last summer, but has stalled in the Senate.
Referencing the discussions of a stimulus package for the faltering economy, committee member Senator Barbara Mikulski, D-MD, said at the hearing: “If we want economic stimulus, we should pay women equally and comparably for their work.”