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Pay gap between men and women remains wide in Utah

Posted at 1:53 PM, Oct 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-06 13:25:38-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has its perks, but equal pay for women is not one of them.

New research from the Utah Women and Leadership Project says women still make 30% less than men in the state.

The Beehive State is behind the national average where women get paid 16-18 percent less.

Project founder, Dr. Susan Madsen, says the state of Utah is not doing enough for women.

"So the states that have made the most progress are states that have more discussions, more public policies, have major companies in the state stepping forward, talking about that making changes of policies within their companies."

Madsen says a multifaceted approach is necessary because the gender pay gap is a complex matter containing a lot of different layers. That includes the reoccurring theme of occupational segregation.

"That’s a real issue when women are really drawn to certain areas and the pay is particularly low," said Madsen, who identifies education and hospitality fields as some of those areas.

The report also highlights the roles society and cultural norms have on women. But as the population in utah grows and evolves, so do mindsets of some.

"We can all do what we want, we can all be who we want," Madsen said. "At the end of the day, we all have the same freedom and what you make of that freedom is up to you."

Various reports indicate it could take anywhere between 40-to-130 years to close the gender pay gap, and Madsen believes the ongoing pandemic already has, and will continue to alter salary numbers in the coming years.