Tuesday, October 21, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;45.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/nbkn.png;2014-10-21 07:45:13
Friday, June 28, 2013

NH gender wage gap higher than national average

The wage gap between men and women has remained an unresolved social issue for decades, but Granite State women face even greater inequality in the workforce than others across the country.

New Hampshire women earn 77 cents for every dollar New Hampshire men earn, a 5 cent larger gap than the national average, according to the New Hampshire Women’s Initiative. ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

The wage gap between men and women has remained an unresolved social issue for decades, but Granite State women face even greater inequality in the workforce than others across the country.

New Hampshire women earn 77 cents for every dollar New Hampshire men earn, a 5 cent larger gap than the national average, according to the New Hampshire Women’s Initiative.

“It’s clear that there is a growing gap between men and women in the workforce today,” Mark MacKenzieper-hour can be attributed to reasons like workforce participation, education attainment, industry and occupation, type of employer, and the preference for flexible work, according to Judy Stadtman AFL-CIO. For example, Stadtman said that women tend to make up the majority of employees in lower paying sectors, such as elementary and secondary education and certain health care sectors.

“Even the 14 cents that is attributable … to career paths and lifestyle choices, we also need to understand that some of those career paths and lifestyle choices are because of sexism,” Liz Skidmore do all the other things.”

However, the remainder of the gap, the other 9 cents, remains unexplained.

Skidmore is a business manager in the Carpenters Local 118 and has worked in carpentry for about 25 years.

Carpentry and construction are among the few job sectors in which women are paid equal to their male peers, she said.

“In union construction, women make exactly the same as men,” Skidmore said. “Starting 35 years ago, when women started getting into construction. Every hour we work, every dollar we get paid, we get paid exactly the same.”

The type of employer chosen by women, another factor Stadtman attributed to the wage gap, also differs from men. More women tend to work for nonprofit organizations and local and state government, while men dominate federal government jobs and the self-employment sector.

In attendance was New Hampshire Sate Commissioner of Labor David Wihby, who asked what can be done to solve the wage gap. While the four speakers offered different solutions, they all agreed that no single, or immediate, solution exists.

“There is no silver bullet to any of this stuff,” Skidmore said. “If there were, we would have solved it already. So what we’ve found is that if you can pull together a group of stake holders from long-term engagement on this … it’s not something that we can solve in one evening, but there absolutely are solutions and when we can bring people together, break down those aisles of expertise, and work toward it, that’s when I think exciting things happen.”

, one of the speakers, said. “Women grow up and think the only thing they can be is XYZ and … don’t of New Hampshire, president of NH AFL-CIO, said Wednesday night at a forum titled “Women, Work, and Wages,” held at Saint Anselm College’s Institute for Politics to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act. “As of the last few years, it’s not had the kind of profile I think it should have. When you talk to the general public about this, it touches everyone.”

Four speakers addressed the wage gap with a variety of statistical findings, mostly focusing on the reason for women’s 23 percent wage loss.

About 14 cents of the loss-Alison Pyott, one of the speakers and a representative from the New Hampshire Women’s Initiative, suggested that the road to closing the gap must include shifting the focus of concern not just to how much money women aren’t being paid, but how families and businesses suffer because of it.

“It’s not just about the 23 percent gap for women. It’s how this affects families and our national and local economies,” Pyott said. “Shifting the conversation and thinking more about possibilities. When you look, statistics around the world show that women are making more money; they’re investing it in their families and their communities.”

Pyott also said that educating businesses on the benefits of family-friendly policies is crucial to eliminating the tough choices women have to make, including sacrificing higher paying jobs for maternal obligations.

“There’s two people making a decision to bring this child into the world, and how they care for that child is negatively impacting the woman in most cases and not the man,” Pyott said. “So how we change that in both our culture and also in our business community, that’s legislative. But I think it’s also a lot of informing and awareness and cultural shift.”

Stadtman said that while this forum was one of the first of its kind for New Hampshire AFL-CIO, they plan to hold more in the future to educate women who are unaware of pay inequality.

“We’d love to have more audiences, and a broader audience, and explore some of the issues that affect New Hampshire workers in more depth, not just the wage gap, but other issues about working conditions and how do we make jobs better in New Hampshire,” Stadtman said. “One way is to make sure that women get paid fairly for the work that they’re doing … We’re looking forward to doing more types of presentations and discussions where other stake holders can come and be part of the discussion.”

Jennifer Janiak can be reached at 594-6549 or jjaniak@nashuatelegraph.com.