SAN DIEGO — Today marks Equal Pay Day, a moment to reflect on the fact that women still earn 85 percent of what their male counterparts make in the workplace.
However, a new study finds that San Diego and Oceanside are closer to shrinking that gap.
California has made strides working to close the gender pay gap but according to a newly released Chamber of Commerce study, the Golden State has the most cities with men making a lot more than women.
“Despite decades of advocacy for equal pay, the pay gap between men and women in the U.S. still remains wide,” said Collin Czarnecki, a Chamber of Commerce researcher.
Czarnecki led the research for the study.
They analyzed U.S. Census data and found that nationally, the average gender pay gap is $11,165 per year.
“One thing that would be really interesting to look into is how these pay gaps vary among industries and occupations,” said Czarnecki.
San Diego, however, is closing that gap. The study found men in full-time jobs made roughly $9,000 more per year than women in America's Finest City.
In Oceanside, that difference was only $26, which is the smallest gap across the nation.
“I know we get so disheartened with all the ways in which we're not quite there yet. And I do think we want to celebrate our wins along the way that there really is progress,” said Sarah Federman Ph.D.
Federman is an Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution at USD’s Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies.
She recently spoke to the Harvard School of Law about negotiation strategies.
“There's an intuition that's not totally unfounded that if you ask, you're going to be perceived more negatively than a man would, and not just from men but from other women as well,” said Federman.
She says women's studies found that females of color who graduate from elite schools still choose jobs where they know they won't be discriminated against. Those are often lower-paying jobs.
The San Diego Workforce Partnership echoes those concerns.
“I think it's also important for us to look at the numbers of how diverse women within the county fare. As you know, gender pay equity really affects all women, but especially Latina and Black women most often,” said Claudia Huerta, from the Workforce Partnership.
She’s the Vice President of Business Engagement at the non-profit that empowers job seekers and mentors employers with training and resources.
“We also try to coach around, prioritize skill-based descriptions on actual skills versus educational pedigree, not necessarily always having to require a college degree,” said Huerta. “We are also asking what is their starting wage wages.”
Huerta says it's not just about a salary but adding value by encouraging women to thrive.
“The higher the job quality you feel, the better culture that you feel that you have, the more present that you will be,” said Huerta.
The study found overall, California’s gender pay gap is $7,951, which is slightly lower than the national average.
Top 5 Cities with the Largest Gender Pay Gap: Sunnyvale, California ($40,584); Frisco, Texas ($39,859); Cary, North Carolina ($39,491); Scottsdale, Arizona ($31,842); and McKinney, Texas ($29,015).
Top 5 States with the Largest Gender Pay Gap: Wyoming ($18,877); New Hampshire ($16,686); Utah ($16,562); Washington ($16,501); and Louisiana ($14,942).