Massachusetts has one of the biggest gaps between men's and women's salaries in the country, despite being the first state to require equal pay for comparable work.
It's been 67 years since the state set the equal pay standard, but Massachusetts women still earn only 77 percent of what men bring home, which puts the state in about 37th place on the equal pay scale, according to the Boston Globe
The state also trails every other New England state, according to an analysis of 2011 Census Bureau data conducted by the American Association of University Women, the Globe reported Sunday.
“We are a progressive state and we do all these progressive things,” Ellie Adair, director of the Massachusetts chapter of the National Organization for Women, told the Globe. “But we are still victim to the same social and cultural forces as everyone else in the country.”
The analysis found that women in Massachusetts, who are among the most educated in the country, earned a median salary in 2011 of about $46,185, more than $10,000 more than the rest of the country. But that figure was a lot less than the $60,264 men earned in the state earned in 2011.
The Globe reported that critics of the analysis said the wage gap, not just in Massachusetts but across the country, is because women make different choices than men, deciding to become mothers or work in less-paying jobs such as teaching or nursing.
But the analysis also revealed that the pay of even highly educated women working in traditionally higher paying fields, such as corporate business, the legal or medical professions, are subject to the biases of managers, while salaries in the lowering paying jobs are more well defined.
The issue of women's pay was a hot political issue in this year's presidential campaign and in the Massachusetts Senate race between Republican incumbent Scott Brown and Democrat Elizabeth Warren, who won.
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