Pay Equity & Wage Negotiation
Few issues touch the core of the Iowa
Commission on the Status of Women's work like pay
equity does. Though many legal victories have been won
for women's pay and though women in Iowa are in the workforce
more than ever before, according to the US Census Bureau,
full-time female workers in Iowa still earn an average of
$0.78 for each dollar earned by their male counterparts
in the same occupation. The wage gap is even higher for
women of color in Iowa.
most recent US Census Bureau on men's and women's earnings.
Iowa Workforce Development conducted a Wage Equity Study.
Highlights include information about the compared education,
experience, and wages of Iowa women as compared to men,
including a map of the average wage gap between men and
women by region in Iowa for both hourly and salaried workers.
Also, included in the study is employer reported wage data
that shows concentration of women in industries and the
wage gap between women and men across industries. Although
women in their 20s have a smaller wage gap, that gap expands
over time, according to ICSW's issue brief, Wage
Gap for Iowa Women in Their 20s and 30s.
Reasons for the wage gap are many and complex. It is unclear how much of that gap may be explained by direct discrimination; however, more likely is a combination of "job segregration" (women and men voluntarily choosing traditional career paths with a high concentration of one gender), women losing ground in careers due to care-giving responsibilities, and women's lower rates of negotiating for pay. Together, women, employers, and policymakers can close the gap with some of the following strategies:
What Individuals Can
Do to Close the Wage Gap
What Businesses Can Do
to Close the Wage Gap