Virginia Falling Behind in Wage Gender Gap

Oct 1, 2018

Women in Virginia do not make as much as their male counterparts. In fact, they’re falling below the national average.

Women in Virginia make 81 percent of what men make. That’s slightly below the national average, which means women in Virginia are falling behind. Sarah Fleisch Fink at the National Partnership for Women and Families says one potential fix is more transparency about wages.  

“An example of this could be having job announcements and job postings include a salary range so that people know the range an employer has in mind, and it takes some of that negotiation or sort of gray area off the table,” Fleisch Fink says.

Deborah Vagins at the American Association of University Women says another potential fix could be banning employers from asking potential employees about their salary history.

“The problem with that is if salaries have been tainted by discrimination," Vagins says,  "then even a well-meaning employer might be carrying discrimination forward if they use current salary or prior salary to set current wages.”

Numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the women-to-men’s earnings ratio in Virginia has ranged from a low point of 72 percent in 2000 to a high point of 84 percent in 2014.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.