A new survey finds Iowa women are still making significantly less than Iowa men in many industries.
Kerry Koonce, communications director at Iowa Workforce Development, says the 2008 statewide study finds for every dollar men make, women bring home an average of 78-cents. That’s up from a survey in 1999 that found the pay disparity in Iowa was 73-cents. Koonce says, "It makes a big difference, obviously, in the quality of life someone can have if they’re not earning nearly what their co-worker earns and doing the same job."
Koonce says reasons for the disparity are unclear, adding, "We’re trying to figure out if maybe there’s more salary negotiation skills that need to be taught to women when they’re going into the work force."
She says not all Iowa industries are showing a disparity. Koonce says Iowa women make more than men in some fields, like computers and mathematical science, while the sexes are even in architecture, engineering and finance, but women’s pay lags far behind in education, health care, management and sales.
The report was commissioned by Iowa Workforce Development and the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women.