Report: Women in Minnesota Earn Less than Men

A study by the Women's Foundation of Minnesota reportedly found that women earn an average of 80 cents for each dollar earned by men, and the disparity is greater for management positions.

Women in Minnesota earn less than men even if they have similar qualifications, according to a Star Tribune report.

A study commissioned by the Women's Foundation of Minnesota reportedly found that women earn an average of 80 cents for each dollar earned by men who have equivalent training. The disparity is reportedly greater for women with advanced degrees.

In the education profession, for example, women-who make up the majority of Minnesota workers in that field-earn an average salary of $45,527, compared with $54,648 earned by men, according to the report.

The disparity is reportedly wider for management positions: Men average $75,127 while women average $57,473. Medical occupations also showed a significant gender gap; women entering the medical practice can expect to earn $16,000 less per year than male doctors, even if they have the same training and specialty. The salary gap was narrowest in computer science and math occupations-areas that relatively few women choose as careers, according to the foundation.

“We thought if women did all the right things and went into the right fields and got the right kinds of education that this would correct itself, but unfortunately it's . . . not necessarily happening,” Debra Fitzpatrick, co-author of the report and director of the Center on Women and Public Policy at the University of Minnesota, told the Star Tribune.

The report's authors reportedly argued that one possible reason for these disparities is that women are not as good as men when it comes to negotiating salaries and employment contracts. Other possible reasons may include the possibility that women tend to trade off higher salaries for work flexibility and family-friendly benefits, according to the report.

Fitzpatrick added that even so, there is plenty of evidence that discrimination exists, including a study showing that identical rŽsumŽs were given more credence when they had men's names on them instead of women's names.

Ironically, the study also reportedly found that in 2010, working mothers were the primary-wage earners for 51 percent of Minnesota family households, a 27 percent increase from two years earlier. This is because the recession hit manufacturing and other male-dominated industries particularly hard.

The study's findings were based on data from the U.S. Census' 2010 American Community Survey, according to the Star Tribune. The Women's Foundation will reportedly discuss the findings of the survey in 14 community forums in the coming months.

To read the full story in the Star Tribune, click here.