Women in eastern Connecticut are paid 75 cents for every dollar a man earns, according to a new analysis of the so-called gender pay gap.
The region's women who work full-time and year-round have a larger pay gap than seen in both statewide and nationwide statistics. Statewide, women are paid 78 cents for every dollar a man gets; nationally, women's pay is 77 cents on the dollar.
The analysis, based on U.S. Census figures and conducted by the National Partnership for Women & Families, is the first time pay differentials have been broken down by congressional districts.
In the 2nd District of Connecticut, which includes the eastern part of the state, women's median income falls short of men's by about $15,000, according to the analysis. While a typical man makes $60,705, women in the region receive only $47,476.
"The wage gap is taking a tremendous toll on women and their families throughout the country," said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership, in a statement. "The gap persists across industries, education levels and ... spans the geography of our country."
Ness said the new data should be a "wake-up call" to Congress, which two years ago failed to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act by just two votes in the Senate and then saw the bill set aside last year during a filibuster. The law would protect women from workplace discrimination by requiring employers to show that wage discrepancies are not based on gender and would prohibit retaliation against employees who raise questions about wage parity.
Critics of the bill, including American Enterprise Institute scholar Christina Hoff Sommers, have said differences in pay between men and women are more likely related to career choices than discrimination. This line of thinking points to women taking more time off from work than men to care for children and parents, as well as making career choices that are more family-friendly and allow for greater flexibility in work schedule rather than higher pay.