Many women are finding they have to work a lot longer than
they first thought before they can retire. That’s if they can afford to retire
at all. For every $1-dollar a man earns, a woman earns just 77-cents. That’s
according to the 2011 Census Bureau report.
It’s impacting women long-term because that continued shortage in pay
makes a world of difference for women who traditionally live longer than men.
Now they face even more difficulty finding and keeping a job in an economically
tumultuous climate. Over the age of 65 the poverty rate for women is double that
“Women are much more likely to be a part of the sandwich
generation: caring for young children, even grandchildren and an elderly parent
which means their availability to work can be limited,” said Dr. Dyanne Ferk, an
associate dean at UIS.
It’s true that today women like Dr. Ferk are more educated.
They’re also running their own businesses like life coach and tv host Sherry
“I think it's great if you can look at what you bring to the
table and you know flip that into something that can be economically feasible
for yourself,” said Pittman.
More sisters are in fact “doin’ it for themselves.” On
average though, they’re still earning less money than men.
“These informal social norms die hard and certain
assumptions are made about women in the work place and their attachment to the
work place,” said Ferk.
Of the nearly 600 jobs listed by the Bureau of Labor
Statistics women make less than men in all but seven of them.
“I think as entrepreneurs that women certainly get a better
edge. You have no glass ceiling which is awesome,” said Pittman.
It’s part of what inspired her to go into business for
herself, but the majority of women work in public sector jobs like teaching and
nursing. Those jobs were hit hard in the recession.
“Women have not fared well in this recession and the outlook
is bleak for them in the future,” said Ferk.
Men lost more jobs during the recession, but they’ve
recovered faster than women. Only 27-percent of jobs once held by women came
back; for men it’s 41-percent. Since social security is based on income those
years of earning less matter there, too. The average, annual social security
income for a woman is $12,100. For a man it’s $16,000.
There is some good news; research shows that with more
education women do fare better in the long run.
The first legislation signed by President Barack Obama was
the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to help end pay discrimination. Still—even in
female dominated jobs men continue to out earn women. The Institute for Women’s
Policy Research put out a report on the income gap earlier this year. You can
find it by clicking this text.