Gender wage gap discussed at Economic Justice Forum for women

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Women in Erie County got together today to talk about the gender wage gap. On average, women make 78-cents for every dollar a man makes.

The Erie County Commission on the Status of Women hosted an Economic Justice Forum, to discuss issues of gender pay equity and workforce development. Women from a variety of different backgrounds as well as guest speakers from the U.S. Department of Labor and The Institute for Women’s Policy Research attended.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor women represent almost half of the total workforce but their share of employment varies across occupations.

“We have a lot of work to do. Women in Erie County are clustered around low paying jobs, there’s still a persistent wage gap. Throughout the state it’s about 80 percent but it’s a little bit lower here in Erie County. We have persistent poverty issues as well that  impact women, particularly women who are single head of households with children so we have a lot of work to do,” said Karen King, Erie County Commission on the Status of Women Executive Director.

Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau also show that more women are working sooner after the birth of their first child.

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