Women’s Issues in the News

In case you missed it last week, issues that impact women were all over the state and the nation. 

On Thursday, Governor Bullock released the findings from his state employee pay audit. As we’ve written about previously, in Montana, women only earn 67% of what men make. At MBPC, we are proud of the Equal Pay Task Force and the Bullock Administration for conducting this important audit and leading the way by releasing the findings. Not only can we improve the lives of women in state government, but hopefully it will also encourage the private sector to do the same. You can read the full audit here. The audit revealed many areas where Montana is doing well in regards to equal pay, but here are the issues identified where more work needs to be done.

  • Women in state government earn less than men, on average, from the time they enter the workplace until they retire, and the gap increases as women age.
  • While the study found that women in state government earn roughly the same as their male counterparts in similar positions, women tend to be underrepresented in higher level management positions.
  • Women are more likely than men to be underemployed in state government.

Earlier in the week, the National Women’s Law Center released a new report, Underpaid and Overloaded: Women in Low-Wage Jobs, which provides a comprehensive look at the women and men in the low-wage workforce. Tomorrow we will blog about this report in much more detail, but some of the findings from among women in the low-wage workforce are:

  • Only one in 10 is a teenager and more than one-quarter are 50 and older. 
  • Four out of five female low-wage workers have a high school degree or higher; more than four in 10 have some college or higher.
  • Close to one-third are mothers–and 40 percent of these moms have family incomes below $25,000 a year. 

In fact, women’s issues were so important that President Obama did his weekly address on paid leave. This is an issue we’ve blogged on in the past. According to a recently released Shriver report, 96 percent of single mothers said that paid leave at their workplace would help them the most. Not only would paid leave help workers across the nation, it would help our economy.

At MBPC, we are focusing on paid leave as well as an issue that would help working families. Stay tuned!

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