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Wide Gender Gap in Pay for Women in Santa Monica District
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Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica

 

By Hector Gonzalez
Special to The Lookout

April 12, 2016 -- Women who work and live in the congressional district that includes Santa Monica experience the second-worst gender gaps in pay in the state, a new analysis of gender income disparities shows.

Released by the National Partnership for Women and Families for Equal Pay Day, the data ranks the earning power of women versus men in the 33rd U.S. Congressional District as the second lowest in California, behind only the district that includes the Silicon Valley.

Women in Santa Monica and the rest of the 33th district on average earn 68 cents for every dollar paid to men, well below the state average of 84 cents per dollar for women, the report shows.

The local wage gap is closer to that of African American women, who earn just 63 cents for every dollar paid to men. Latinas suffer the worst gap in pay, earning 43 cents for every dollar paid to men, said the report.

On average, working women in the district represented by U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Manhattan Beach, earn $68,464, compared to $100,120 on average for men. The 33rd District includes cities and communities on the Westside of Los Angeles and the South Bay.

In the 17th Congressional District of Rep. Michael Honda, D-Silicon Valley, women earned $59,969 while men earned $91,194. That equates to 66 cents for every dollar earned by men, the biggest gender gap in pay in the state. said the report.

National Partnership for Women and Families President Debra L. Ness called the analysis, which looked at all 50 states and 435 congressional districts, “a sobering reminder of the serious harm the wage gap causes women and families all across the country.”

In California, the wage gap means women lose more than $39 billion a year in potential income, “money that could strengthen the state economy and the financial security of California's women and families, including the nearly 1.7 million California households headed by women,” Ness said.

The wage gap exists across the spectrum of American business, regardless of industry, occupations and education levels. For example, women with master's degrees working full time, year-round, are paid 72 cents for every dollar paid to men with master's degrees, said the report.

The national nonprofit organization summed up what working women in California could afford to buy if they were paid at the same rate as men in comparable jobs.

On the list are 58 additional weeks of groceries for a family; four more months of mortgage and utility payments, or six additional months of rent.

Although several states recently have taken steps to advance policies aimed at closing the gender pay gap, Ness called on lawmakers in Congress to work together to advance federal equal pay laws.

“There's no time to waste,” she said.


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