TELL US: How Would You Eliminate Pay Gap for Women?

Pay for women in Boston is better than the rest of New England, but it's still not on par with what men make for the same jobs. Should we pass laws to attack the problem, or is there another solution?

The pay gap between men and women — the difference in pay for the same jobs— was front and center in last week's presidential debate. The exchange over equal pay led to the second debate's most memorable quip about "binders full of women." That statement became an instant Internet meme.

Slate has published an interactive map showing how each state and county does with wage inequality. Rhode Island falls somewhere in the middle of the pack; women earn just 69 cents for every dollar men make for doing the exact same job. In Bristol County, it's slightly worse. Women here earn just 67 cents for every dollar a man makes.

In New England, Suffolk County (Boston and a few surrounding cities) does best. On average, women there are paid 83 cents for every dollar a man earns for the same job. Coastal New Hampshire's Rockingham County, where women average 59 cents for every dollar a man in a similar role would earn, is the worst in the region.

After decades of debate, the needle's barely budged on pay inequality. What can be done? Should the government step in and legislate pay equality? Or should there be more societal pressure on companies? Tell us your ideas in the comments section below.

ralph October 22, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Easiest way to do so is whatever the amount they're paying should be the same for a man as a women. Federal law should be passed to make it so. Easily done.
Bryan Palumbo October 22, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Roberto and Pat, the needle is never going to budge because there are factors outside of anyone's control that go into this. It is already illegal for businesses to compensate their employees differently based on gender, race, religion, ect. Here are some factors, that regardless of the law still effects the stats. If you take four HR employees (two women, two men) working at company X. The men and one of the women have worked there on a consistent basis for 3 years. All three will be receiving the same pay. One of the women, however, took a year of maternity leave... out of those four, guess who missed a year's worth of wage increases? Another example of a factor is when they join the workforce... my wife, for example, my wife didn't join the workforce until my youngest started school. Just using her first job as an example, there were people there (both sexes) that had worked for that company longer than my wife, so even though they were doing the same job, they received more pay. A lot of families do the above(my parents did as well), one parent stays home while until the child goes to school. Because of how our culture is, 9 times out of 10, it's the mother that stays home. So the question really is, what is pay equality? If a woman and man both work for someone the same amount of time, doing the same job then they should receive the same pay, but if you factor in just the above instances then they aren't. Is that still not equal?
Patrick Luce October 23, 2012 at 07:06 PM
You're right that when an employee enters the workforce would likely impact his or her salary compared to those who have been in the job longer. But that doesn't explain the embarrassing gender pay disparity in this country. It's not like droves of women are delaying their entry to the workforce because of a relationship anymore. And there aren't many families that can afford one salary these days, even after having kids. Maternity leave can't be a factor. Employers cannot take maternity leave or paternity leave (thank you Bill Clinton) into account in any way. Employers use the excuses you cited in an attempt to justify their salary chauvinism. As you said, it's illegal for them to compensate employees differently based on gender. It's time to seriously enforce those laws.
Local Yokal October 23, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Bryan, Explain the pay gap using an example of a married woman without children, who was hired on the same exact day as a man, but gets paid on average almost 30 cents less per hour. Thanks for your time,


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »