In case you were wondering. sexual discrimination continues to thrive in Kentucky.
Recent research by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education found women in the commonwealth continue to earn less than men — even women with advanced college degrees.
Women with an associate or bachelor’s degree earned 73 cents for every dollar males with matching credentials earned, the organization found. Women who have a master’s degree earned 77 cents on the dollar.
The disparity in pay for women in Kentucky is higher than the national average, officials said.
Why is it important to know this, especially in the shadow of the killing of eight women in Atlanta this week? Aren’t there more pressing issues, like violence against women?
While physical attacks and murders of women are more of an immediate threat, earning disparities are important to consider.
Making less money than a man who is doing the same work will have an effect on quality of life, immediately and in the long run. It affects everything from women’s self-worth to their career opportunities to retirement plans.
Making women’s wages lower is symbolic of the fact that women continue to be less valued than men in the workplace. Those attitudes aren’t confined to the workplace, either; they bleed into other aspects of life, causing women to be less valued in other areas of life.
Besides, it’s just not fair to pay a woman less for comparable work.
Aaron Thompson, president of the the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, said he hopes the importance of the study won’t be lost on employers.
“Hopefully, this research will encourage more employers to re-evaluate their pay structure and the role of women in leadership positions,” Thompson said.
While research reveals problems, it’s unlikely simply being aware of the disparity will change anything. The research results might stimulate dialogue that could lead to change, but women, mostly likely, will have to be the ones to initiate the discussion.