A Guest Voice by Camille McMannus, intern at Community Commons
As a sophomore in high school, I wonder if I’ll be one of the many women in the United States paid significantly less than my male coworkers that are doing the exact same work.
Typically in cities there is a pattern of women being paid as much, if not more, than men, but if you look at more rural areas and smaller towns, you can see a larger gap between the wages. Between 2008 and 2010 in Missouri, for full-time workers, according to the Women’s Foundation report on the status of women in Missouri, women earned only $0.71 for every dollar earned by a man.
Click on the interactive map above to see what the data looks like for your own community. When you click on any individual geography within the map you can access additional data as in the example below.
Issues like this can lead to a much harder way of life for women because they are paid less so they aren’t able to pay for things such as better housing, healthier food, or even have as much discretionary income left over as men might.
According to an article on Single Mother Guide, about 83% of single-parent households are lead by women and in these cases it would be much more difficult for a woman to provide for her family than a man could.
This issue is a way of life for many people in the United States and the fact that so many people tend to ignore these facts is the reason I’m worried that things might not change for my future. If there was a law that required men and women that are doing the same work to get paid equally or a law that required paid maternity leave that would be extremely helpful with this issue. This paid leave would allow women to continue taking care of and supporting their family without sacrificing money or time with their children. People my age need to make this issue known and explain to others how it affects women in our society, so it doesn’t remain a normality. I really hope most workplaces in the future have equal pay for all of their employees.
Camille McManus is a sophomore at Rock Bridge High School in Columbia, Missouri. At school she takes part in a volunteer group called Rock Bridge Reaches Out, is the core leader for a group called Art That Matters, and has been enrolled in multiple Advanced Placement courses. She also takes part in DECA, an organization that prepares business and marketing students for the future, and is on a competitive cheerleading team outside of school.