Susan Madsen, a Utah Valley University professor who directs the Utah Women & Leadership Project, said studies show many young Utah women do not even consider majoring in such fields. The IWPR notes that for the divide between men and women to close, women's real wages just need to rise faster than men's, but men's wages can tick up too. While women graduate from college at higher rates than men, the former still earn less than the latter in 2018.
"For the last six months (at the office) I finally did get equal pay for equal work", she said.
Gender pay inequities occur across diverse industries.
The IWPR also attributes the gender wage gap to differences in pay between occupations.
Women still earn less than men, and the gap costs women more than $860 billion a year, he said. The occasion prompts an annual examination of the gender pay gap in the US and this year such study will turn up good news. California's pay law, amended in part because of the Rizo case, says pay differences based on race, sex or ethnicity may not be justified exclusively by prior salary. Women are five times more likely than men to take a break from work to raise kids, and employees who leave the workforce for a year or more find that their pay upon returning is 7 percent less than a now employed person seeking the same job, according to PayScale's report.
Utah has foundered in recent years near the lowest rung of states for its pay gap between men and women - usually ranking second- or third-worst.
The 13-cent gap is the same as in 2017.
The wage gap even exists in Hollywood, with female stars in films such as "All the Money in the World" and TV series like Netflix's "The Crown" being paid far less than their male counterparts, even if they have more prominent roles. When she asked management about the disparity, she was told her pay had been based on her prior salary. Some U.S. cities do slightly better than others, with women faring the best in the San Francisco Bay Area, which only has an 8% pay gap compared with 11% in Seattle and 10% in NY and Los Angeles. However, as a whole, employers are still failing to make progress toward achieving gender pay equity, according to a new report from Visier Insights.
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Before women start looking sideways at their male colleagues, let's understand what drives the differences in what men and women earn on. Men in Paris have the same advantage as American men, with higher pay offers 63% of the time.
Erin Jemison, public policy director at YWCA Utah, said the high number of children in the state works against women's pay in another way.
It's rarely practical for mid-career women to shift gears in mid-stream to a new type of role just because it has less of a gender pay gap. "It just reaffirms that there are enough women that have had it". It also boasts the smallest gender wage gap for product manager salaries, at a relatively small 4% compared to the 8% of these other three positions.
Aside from hiring practices, education and job sector play roles in the pay gap.
The facts are incontrovertible: Women earned 80.5 cents for every $1 earned by men in 2016, according to the most recent Census data.
"It's interesting that (researchers) can't fully explain all of the gap and many point to that as discrimination", Smith said.
She soon found herself a symbol of the wage gap, championed on the red carpet by celebrities that she used to interview, like Eva Longoria, Debra Messing, Natalie Portman and Laura Dern. And the United Kingdom and Iceland recently adopted laws that require companies to prove that they pay both genders fair wages.