A task force created by Wake County commissioners finds – in what will not surprise many women in the workforce – that there is a gender gap in pay in various jobs in the county. The task force found that women in the county earn up to 41 percent less than male colleagues with the same education in some jobs. For purposes of comparison, the consulting firm that helped the task force compile data compared the county to other “Capital City” counties — Travis County, Texas, home of Austin, and Suffolk County, Mass., which includes Boston.
The survey wasn’t meant to be a definitive analysis, but a overview of how the county stands with those peers. And some businesses declined to provide salary information because the task force wasn’t considering things like an employee’s level of training when doing comparisons. Obviously, that would be pertinent to why one employee was paid more than another.
But even with caveats about some conclusions because of a lack of information, the fact that there is a gender gap when it comes to pay is not a new revelation. The county is due credit for examining the issue, and should follow up with more detailed surveys periodically in the future. Even in more enlightened communities, and we like to think this is one, there are lingering issues from the day, not so long ago, when the workforce was overwhelmingly male.