Wage Gap Persists in Rhode Island

Apr 10, 2013

Tuesday was Pay Equity Day – the day when women’s 2013 earnings equal those of men’s pay for all of 2012. The Women’s Fund of Rhode Island took advantage of the occasion to take stock of the pay equity gap that faces women in the state today.

Rhode Island’s quarter-of-a-million working women continue to earn substantially less than men. According to data compiled by the Women’s Fund, Rhode Island men earn on average $37,000 a year, compared to $24,000 for women. The gap widens for people with college degrees.

And it’s not going to change anytime soon, according to Women’s Fund executive director Marcia Cone.

"Estimates show that at its current rate the wage gap will not close until the year 2057," Cone said. "That’s 45 years from today. And I don’t know about you but I don’t think women can wait and I don’t think Rhode Island can wait to close this wage gap."

The Women’s Fund is throwing its support behind a package of bills aimed at leveling the playing field. The package includes bills that would expand child care subsidies and create paid family leave.