While Maryland’s white and African American women still don’t earn as much as their male counterparts, at least the wage gap is less than it is elsewhere, according to the new State of Women in America report. That’s the good news.
Women in Maryland make $.85 for every $1 a white man makes, which is tied with Nevada and Vermont for the nation’s #1 spot. Sure, that’s not perfect — but it’s certainly better than it used to be. Things are a little tougher for African American women, who made $.70 on the dollar — but tat’s still one of the highest rates in the country. (Fun fact: the only demographic group in which women out-earn white men is African American women in Montana. They make $1.17 for every $1 a white man makes. No clue why.) But the news isn’t all good…
Nationwide, Hispanic women face an ever larger wage gap than their white or African American counterparts — and Maryland is one of the states with the worst wage gaps for Hispanic women. They make significantly less than half of what white men do — a mere $.46 cents on the dollar. Yep, you heard it right — Maryland’s white and African American women have some of the highest earnings, relatively to men, while Maryland’s Hispanic women have some of the lowest relative earnings.
In general, the federal government tends to get the credit for DC/Maryland/Virginia’s low wage gaps; the government is one of the region’s major employers, and its workplace policies tend to create a more favorable climate for women… or white and African-American women, at least. According to Fatima Goss Graves of the National Women’s Law Center, the dismal state of the Latina wage gap in Maryland (and DC) is probably due to “occupational segregation” — in other words, women of color are overrepresented in low-wage jobs. But it’s still unclear why that occupational segregation seems to be worse in this region than elsewhere in the nation.
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