Wyoming Governor, Matt Mead, signed the Wyoming Equal Pay Day proclamation Wednesday morning in recognition of Equal Pay Day. June 26 is the anniversary date for the Equal Pay Act, Title VII, and the Civil Rights Act.
Despite celebrated legislation that's been on the books for 40 years now, women across the country, and especially in Wyoming, still lag behind average earnings of men. Laura Lehan, principal consultant at Peak Consulting, says Wyoming's gap is likely to be larger for several reasons unique to the state, to include a higher percentage of industries that are male dominated.
Lehan also said there are fewer high-paying jobs available in the state that attract women. Based on research presented by the Wyoming Women’s Foundation, women in Wyoming with a bachelor’s degree earn less than men with a high school diploma. She said these factors sometimes drive talented women elsewhere to seek employment.
Lehan says women who suspect they're underpaid need to do their homework and be able to ask for a raise when they learn they are not being fairly compensated.
A recent report released by the Department of Labor and Census Bureau estimates over the course of her lifetime, a woman making 77 cents to a man's dollar loses as much as $2 million in wages, Social Security benefits, and pensions over the course of her working lifetime.