Women in the United States have been fighting for equal wage rights since the early 1900s. In 1963 the government passed the Equal Pay Act, which aimed to abolish wage disparity based on sex. But the act excluded professional careers. Starting in 1971, Marilynn Deiss juggled work as the Executive Director of the Wyoming Board of Pharmacy and as a single mother. She tells her daughter, Debra Swedberg, how gender discrimination affected her life.
Some of the best paying jobs in Wyoming are in the oil and gas industry, but only ten percent are held by women. Energy companies are trying to attract more women to fill open positions. But women who do want to enter the field for the higher-paying jobs face a lot of barriers. Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards reports.
Wyoming continues to have the worst gender pay gap in the country, and the gulf is widening. According to a new report released by the National Partnership for Women and Families. Wyoming women made only 64 cents for every dollar that men in the state made. That amounts to an annual wage gap of over $18,000 dollars.
The gender wage gap in Wyoming is the largest in the nation. And that’s not news, either…it’s been this way for years. Groups around the state are working to fix it through policy, training programs, and education, but Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that it could be the state’s industries that keep the gap firmly in place.