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September 06, 2001
Wage Gap Persists for Women
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September 6, 2001


The magazine Working Woman reports that its 22nd-annual salary survey reveals little change in the wage gap, with women in the workforce still earning only 76 cents for every dollar earned by men.

The gap has barely changed in the past decade - it was 73 cents on the dollar in 1990, according to the magazine.

For women at the pinnacle of their professions - corporate CEOs, CFOs and COOs - the costliest difference lies not in salaries but in options, Working Woman says.

The magazine identifies as "a critical battleground in the fight for equal wages" the upper echelons and corner offices of corporate America, where men leaders may earn as much as 20-30 times more than their women counterparts in terms of long-term compensation, including stock options and incentive plan payouts.

This difference amounts to as much as hundreds of millions of dollars, the magazine contends.

"Women need to learn to negotiate in this area," said Carol Evans, CEO and president of Working Mother Media, which owns the magazine. "Men know if you don't ask for what you want, no one's going to hand it over. Women are getting better at making salary demands, but they've still got a long way to go before they're being paid market value."

The Working Woman Salary Survey demonstrates that even in professions where women far outnumber men, such as nursing, advertising, public relations and teaching, men's earnings continue to surpass women's.

The publication also cites the overall "taboo" nature of discussing salary compensation publicly as a primary factor in the wage gap. Working Woman's own online survey indicates that only 29 percent of workers would be willing to divulge their salary to a coworker to gain leverage in asking for a raise. Nothing could convince 37 percent of the respondents to reveal their personal compensation. "The fact is, the silence contributes to the problem," added Evans.
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