A report to Wake County commissioners shows an income gap between men and women in the county that is worse than the national average. It’s a valuable starting point for commissioners to encourage a dialogue about a gender pay gap and to find ways to encourage businesses to keep the issue on their scopes.
The report looked at overall income and did not compare pay for men and women doing the same work. That’s something commissioners should seek from the plentiful nearby university sources. That number would be the most informative in terms of determining the scale of the gap that exists.
Comparing those doing the same work provides some of the clearest evidence of inequality, if it exists, and it would be astounding, given larger studies over many years, if it didn’t. The report does contain information showing that women with graduate degrees, for example, earn $40,000 less than men with such degrees and that women lacking high school degrees earned considerably less than men who don’t have high school diplomas.
This was an issue apparently not on the scope of Republican commissioners, who were turned out of office in 2014 by four Democrats. Now, organizations such as the Wake County Commission for Women can advance their agendas, and the commission has suggested that companies provide paid internships for women returning to the work force and help their employees pay for child care. Child care costs in the county, which is affluent in comparison to many overall, are relatively high – as those who are paying for it can attest.