Business.org: Gender pay gaps across the US in 2021

National and World

March is Women’s History Month, and Business.org has rounded up the data for a third year on the gender pay gap and equality in the workforce. They found despite attempts to increase the number of loans for women-owned businesses and equal pay initiatives, there is still a significant national gap of 18 percent, meaning women make 18 percent less each year than men.

Using the stop-pay methodology, states were ranked based on the percentage difference between women’s and men’s earnings for full-time, year-round workers. The stop-pay dates are based on a calendar that omits weekends and does not take holidays into account.

Here’s some of the findings:

  • US women effectively stop getting paid on October 29 due to a national pay gap of 18 percent.
  • Women don’t have a higher average salary than men in any US state.
  • Vermont has the smallest pay gap, with women earning only nine percent less than men overall.
  • Wyoming has the largest pay gap, with women earning 35 percent less than men overall.
  • Washington DC boasts the highest average salary for women at $75,750. It’s ranked 14th with a gender pay gap of 17 percent.
  • Mississippi has the lowest average salary for women at $33,140. It’s ranked 41st with a gender pay gap of 23 percent.

In the Tri-state:

RankStateAvg Female SalaryAvg Male SalaryGap %Stop-pay Date
28KY$38,763$48,54520%October 20
35IL$45,967$58,57922%October 13
44IN$38,913$51,32224%October 8

So what causes these pay gaps? Reasons for pay disparity can include:

  • Lack of equal access to funding for female-owned businesses
  • Corporate cultures that tend to promote men or where men are more likely to get raises
  • Unequal hiring practices
  • States with cultures that emphasize traditional family work structures
  • The number of women-owned businesses in a given state
  • Lack of local legislation that protects women from discriminatory corporate practices

The pay gap has gotten better over time, but it’s drifted between 81–82% since 2010 with little sign of progress. But there are actually a few occupations with gaps that favor women.

Female producers and directors make 106 percent of what their male counterparts make, and office and administrative support workers make 105 percent. Bus drivers, wholesale and retail buyers, and fast food and counter workers all make 102 percent of what men in the same industries make.

(This story was originally published on March 5, 2021)

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