Gender Wage Gap: (In)Equality in Utah

The Hinckley Institute Radio Hour  (Originally air date: September 4, 2019)  Today we feature a panel discussion on the gender wage gap in Utah—the causes that drive it, its consequences for women and the economy and what policies are effective in addressing the discrepancy.

The gender wage or pay gap refers to the difference in income between men and women across the economy and specifically for those doing the same work. In a study by the American Association of University Women, Utah and Louisiana were found to have the largest wage gaps in the nation according to census data from 2016. In both states, U.S. women who worked full time and year-round on average earned only 70 cents on the dollar compared with men, with the national average resting at 80 cents on the dollar. 

This large gender wage gap contributed to Utah receiving WalletHub’s worst ranking in terms of women’s equality for the second year-in-a-row in 2019. While the report placed Utah above Wyoming in terms of women’s income, it ranked last in women’s educational attainment, the unemployment rate and work hours. As the panel discusses, these other factors can reinforce and perpetuate the gender wage gap.

Speaking on the panel: Günseli Berik, Professor in the Economics Department and Asian Studies Program at the University of Utah; Nilufer Cagatay, Co-Director and Professor of the University of Utah Economics Department; Claudia Geist, Associate Professor in the Gender Studies and Sociology Departments at the University of Utah; and Senator Luz Escamilla of the Utah State Legislature. Moderating the discussion is Juliette Tennert, Director of Economic and Public Policy Research at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.

This forum was co-sponsored by the Women’s Resource Center and the Women’s Enrollment Initiative.

This forum was recorded on March 25th, 2019.

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